• Steven D. Desmond

A "Smoking Gun" in town

Photo essay: Up-and-coming musician Cole Gallagher

makes his national musical debut in Western New York

September 2021: Cole Gallagher performs at Nietzsche's in Allentown on a steamy late-summer night. © photo by Steven D. Desmond

Cole Gallagher is not yet a household name. But music fans, stay tuned.

The entire Gallagher side of the family: Dan, his father; Jack, his grandfather; aunts, uncles, and cousins all hail from the Southtowns, primarily Orchard Park.

When the 19-year-old West Coast guitarist-singer-songwriter from South Pasadena, California, released his first single, “Smoking Gun,” back in July, it seemed natural that his national musical debut should take place in Buffalo. He performed at Borderland in East Aurora in September.

“Smoking Gun" is gaining airplay on radio stations throughout the United States.

Over the course of four days, Buffalo Tales photographer Steve Desmond documented Cole’s East Coast debut. He visited WBNY radio at Buffalo State College, ate dinner in Allentown, played a concert at Nietzsche's, and rehearsed with his band for an afternoon in an Elma studio before taking the stage at Borderland.

“In my 35 years as a professional photographer, I have never experienced such oozing talent from a teenager,” Desmond said. “Becoming highly successful in music today is as challenging as finding a four leaf clover in a corn field. Only time will tell. But here in Buffalo is where it begins. The frames fired here, over four days, are just the beginning.”

Gallagher with East Aurora resident David Nojaim, who was instrumental in bringing the young artist to Borderland.

Gallagher's band, from left: Chris Sikora, lead guitar; Mars Horner, bass; Nick Anoci, drums; Jared Rodriquez, keyboards; Barry Billing, rhythm guitar.

All photos © 2021 by Steven D. Desmond

Here is the official music video for Gallagher's debut release, "Smoking Gun."


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