One of the best, if not the best guitar player in the world – Joe Bonamassa
He is absolutely incredible – Carlos Santana
Blues journeyman Eric Gales lifts our spirits with Middle of the Road and he is coming to Australia (exclusively) for Byron Bay’s Bluesfest 2017.
His new album Middle of the Road (Provogue/Mascot Label Group) is packed with great blues riffs, a so-funky presence and some great songs. There are plenty of impressive guests on board as well, including the great Gary Clark Jr.
Eric Gales was a child prodigy who, although naturally right-handed, learned his distinctive left-handed style upside down playing from his older brother Eugene, his ‘mentor’ and Little Jimmy King. Gales was heralded as the second coming of Jimi Hendrix when he released his debut album The Eric Gales Band in 1991 as a sixteen year old. It was the first of ten albums on a major label (fourteen releases in total). There have been down times for sure – time in jail in 2009 for possession of drugs and a weapon. Elaborating Gales says:
“While I was in there all the officers and guards were like, ‘bro you know this isn’t where you’re supposed to be. When you get out of here, go take the world by the horns and ride it all the way out.’ It took a couple of years after but, I’m here.”
This impressive new record was produced by veteran Fabrizio Grossi and features collaborations with Clark, Lauryn Hill, Eugene Gales, LaDonna Gales, Lance Lopez, Raphael Saadiq and Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram.
The tone here is impeccable as the tracks move along seamlessly as though they were born together. Opening with the uplifting and taut ‘Good Times’, we move to the strident, totally believable confessional ‘Change in Me (The Rebirth)’ and the hypnotic ‘Carry Yourself’ (see below). The interplay groove between Gales and Clark in ‘Boogie Man’ is worth the admission price alone.
The reggae-infused ‘Been So Long’ provides a wonderful showcase for Gale’s vocals, the boogie ‘Help Yourself’ will get all your toes tapping and ‘I’ve Been Deceived’ has immense power. The slap bass says it all in ‘Repetition’ while ‘Help Me Let Go’ as the sole ballad is simply outstanding.
Middle of the Road is a wonderful testament to Gales’ talent. Moreover, it is a sublime display of his spirit. If you only buy one blues album each year, this is it for 2017.
Have a listen to ‘Carry Yourself’:
via Annie Johnsson Publicity