Thank you to so many who have expressed their encouragement and support for the continuation of Gallagher Guitar Co. We decided to share a compilation of responses (which include some really cool stories) to our first email announcement. These are just a few. Your support means more than you realize.


Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of Gallagher Guitar Company,

 I was very pleased to receive your email this morning concerning the rebirth of Gallagher Guitars. A few weeks after purchasing my 1999 Gallagher Doc Watson, I read the sad news that the company was closing its doors. This re-opening will surely make many Gallagher owners happier people! I do wish you all the very best in this venture, and I am sure that the new Gallagher Guitar Company will maintain the standards of excellence that have made the Gallagher instruments from the past so revered today.

 Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!!

David – just got the news that you’ll be keeping the Gallagher name alive and well in M’boro. I have owned a GC-70 since the 70’s. It even has J.W.’s signature in it. Some of the best memories I have include visiting JW and later Don in the shop. On one visit JW and his wife Hazel invited over to their home to have supper with them. They asked us to pick a few afterwards and the first tune JW wanted to hear was his favorite- Windy and Warm. Another time we played for one of the Gallagher birthday gatherings and had the good fortune to have a couple of friends join us on stage – Vassar Clements and John Hartford. What a day! We played for hours in the Rocking Horse hotel before the show that evening. 

Congratulations. I hope you are wildly successful.

Hello David Mathis, Hello Gallagher Guitar-Team. I am happy to hear that Gallagher guitars will continue. I am still enjoying my g70, which I bought from Stephen 4 years ago. The sound is beautiful.

 I wish you all the best for a successful new beginning with Gallagher Guitar Co. and hope we can keep in touch.

 Greetings from Switzerland


I picked up a used Gallagher GC-70 guitar last year.  I own a splendid 1968 Martin D-18 and a terrific Collings OM-2h, but this little Gallagher blows both of the them away.  The balance and the sweetness of tone is unlike anything I have heard before.  Anything you can tell me about the GC series would be very much appreciated.

Congratulations on acquiring Gallagher Guitar.  I hope you have every success in continuing the tradition of quality reflected in my little GC-70.


Congratulations on your new venture with Gallagher Guitars! I hope you have great success with it, it’s a pretty cool legacy to  take ownership of and I’m sure you will do them proud. I had come to know Stephen and his father from several trips to MerleFest in North Carolina and purchased a G-65 from them at MerleFest a few years back.

I hope under your direction Gallagher Guitar Company is around for a long, long time! 

Good morning Mr. Mathis, 

I received an email recently of the changes in ownership at Gallagher Guitar and while I am curious about the changes, I am sure Don Gallagher has left the family company in good hands.

 My enthusiasm for Gallager Guitars dates back to a 1971 concert at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, Calif, where Doc and his son, Merle, performed to a “crowd” of about 40-50 fans sitting on folding chairs. My friend and I were quick to notice that both Doc and Merle were not playing their old Martin guitars; rather, guitars we had never seen before. But they sounded beautiful to our ears.

It was during the intermission we got to chat with Doc and Merle about their new guitars why they switched. Doc told us, the Gallagher guitars he and Merle were playing were “just better.” They loved the sound, and the feel. The neck, at that time, had a v-shape that fit into the web between the thumb and forefinger perfectly. 

Then, one day, while shopping at ACE Music in Santa Monica for guitar strings for my old Gibson Hummingbird, I saw a Gallagher guitar (#282) hanging from a peg and asked a salesman  if I could try it. “SURE!” he said. I went into a quiet booth and closed the door behind me. It only took a few minutes for this seduction.

Beautiful in its mahogany back and sides with a beautiful cedar top, it felt perfect. It sounded perfect. I bought that Gallagher in 1971 and kept it until 2006 when arthritis in my fingers kept me from playing much. I called Don Gallagher about what he thought it was worth more than 30 years after I bought it (for $450 with the case). He suggested about $1800. Then he asked me what the serial number was. When I told him it was #282, he looked it up in a book and discovered that it had never been listed as sold. I had a missing piece to the puzzle which pleased him very much. 

So thanks for the 34+ years of guitar-playing joy. And warmest regards for the future of Gallagher Guitar Company. BTW, I have seen videos of Joe Bonomasa playing a Gallagher in his concert at the Vienna Opera House. AMAZING!!!

I am the proud owner of a G-70 that I have had since 1976, s/n 841. When I picked up my guitar I was looking at the registry book by the front door of the shop in Wartrace.  One of the recent visitors before me was “Hickory Hickory Doc, Deep Gap, North Carolina”.

 I was not aware that Gallagher had gone out of business. Last time I visited Wartrace I said hi do Don but that was 20 years ago and the company was doing well!

 I am really pleased to see this tradition going on.

It is good to know that you have taken on the task of continuing the great tradition of the company.  I wish you well and I hope your stewardship will mean that the next generation, and generations to come, will have to opportunity to experience the genuine American treasure that is the Gallagher guitar.


I am greatly enjoying following the development of the website. Restoring the company is a wonderful thing you are doing.


Dear Stephen:

Thank you for sending me the notice about the new ownership of the company. 

The 1969 G45E Custom I’ve been playing for nearly 50 years has served me extraordinarily well.  It rings as true today as it did when I first held it, perhaps today its voice is even richer and a bit deeper than it was back then.  My own voice has certainly changed over the years but there is no guitar I have ever played that I trust, and love, as much as this guitar your grandfather made.

It does sadden me a bit to learn that the guitars will no longer be built by your family in Wartrace, but I’m encouraged to learn that Mr. Mathis will be keeping the tradition alive – and in Tennessee – for future generations of guitar players.

I’ve never allowed anyone other than your father to drill a hole or attach anything permanent to my Gallagher.  A few decades back, the strap on my guitar came off while I was performing, and the guitar dropped to the floor resulting in a small crack on its face.  I was living in the New York City then and I put the guitar on a bus and sent it to Wartrace.  It came back to me some months later as good as new. 

I wish you and your family well – you have my eternal gratitude for creating the guitar that has been my constant companion over these many years.

Hey David and company…let me know when you all are in production….I want to order a G70 12 string from you! Need an idea on pricing so I can stuff my piggy bank…thanks


David,  Sure glad to get your email. I often hear….. Dog gone that guitar sure sounds good! or something more outspoken. Happens all the time whether onstage or at a kitchen table.

Playing my G50 today but often using my Doc Watson signature.

Wishing you the best


Good Morning, David,

Thanks for reaching out.

I will make it a point to pull out my Doc Watson model when I get home today and bang on it a bit in celebration of your relaunch.

It certainly reduces stress after a hard (very early) day of hurling protons at at Niobium target to transmute an element (Oxygen into Fluorine).

How does someone wind up operating a 16MeV Cyclotron?  It’s simple.  I am a failed guitar maker.

Good to hear from you.  I must say that I love that guitar.  It “speaks” to me more than my Martin or my Franklin.   I wish you success in the future.

San Francisco, CA., 94107

G’day David,


Justin from Melbourne, Australia here, how you going?


Just acquired the best guitar I’ve ever owned, a beautifully played in G70


 I live in Bordeaux France (wellknown with Bordeaux wines !) I have a “Doc Watson Signature” GALLAGHER. I hope the best for you and the future for GALLAGHER Guitars.