Weds 24 May – Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh UK TICKETS Thurs 25 May – The Ferry, Glasgow UKTICKETS Fri 26 May – Arlington Arts, Newbury UK TICKETS Sat 27 May – Worthing Pier South Pavillion, Worthing UK TICKETS Sun 28 May – Mr Kyps, Bournemouth UK TICKETS Mon 29 May – Sage, Gateshead UK – Weds 31 May – Robin 2, Wolverhampton UK TICKETS Fri 2 Jun – Nell’s Jazz & Blues, London UK w/special guest Gary Hoey TICKETS Sat 3 Jun – Grolsch Festival – Shoppingen, GERMANY – TICKETS Weds 7 Jun – Tonelades – Valencia, SPAIN – TICKETS Fri 9 Jun – Leganes Blues Festival South Side – Leganes, SPAIN – TICKETS Sun 30 Jul – Ramblin’ Man Fair UK w/ Supersonic Blues Machine TICKETS
Bluesdoodles reviewedMiddle Of The Road – No doubting that Eric Gales is back producing the best music yet. Blues guitar with attitude, lyrics with a heartfelt understanding of the myriad emotions this album lays bare for the listener to explore and understand ….. Read the rest HERE
“One of the best, if not the best guitar player in the world” Joe Bonamassa “He is absolutely incredible” Carlos Santana “How Eric Gales isn’t the hugest name in rock guitar is a total mystery”Dave Navarro “This guy could be the best player on Earth” Mark Tremonti “Sounds like ZZ Top covering Stevie Wonder…If you’re looking for the blues album of 2017. This is going to be very hard to beat” Total Guitar 5/5 “The injection of danger and unpredictability that the blues-rock scene desperately needs…some of his best songs yet” Guitar & Bass 8/10 “The more you listen to it the more the brilliance of Eric Gales becomes apparent” Powerplay
With Eric Gales sitting in the middle of the tracks we know we are stepping aboard a musical experience that is anything but Middle of the Road. The eleven tracks do not take the middle ground they are assertive, full of intent and the energy is boundless from the vocals, stinging guitar and a rhythm section that rocks. In fact, the title reflects where Eric Gales a child prodigy who has experienced the good life and the bad as he says, “It’s about being fully focused and centred in the middle of the road. If you’re on the wrong side and in the gravel, you’re not too good and if you’re on the median strip that’s not too good either, so being in the middle of the road is the best place to be.”
Eric Gales is a renowned guitarist, his fans are many including Carlos Santana, Joe Bonamassa, Mark Tremonti from across the spectrum of music that rocks your socks.
Opening with a riff that just connects you to man and guitar as Eric says, ‘Now that’s how you start a record’ then the backing vocals picking up the chorus Good Time is the intention here with a gospel-fueled blues opener. The guitar sings with Change In Me (rebirth), and is a statement this is the new Eric Gales full of music and the drive to deliver blues that has a freedom as we all join him on a new road. The track is the anthem that holds the album together and a motto for many who want to or have changed something in their own lives.
Nestled among the originals is Boogie Man featuring Gary Clark Jnr; keeping the form of the classic whilst adding his own twist in Freddie King’s Blues. The interpretation of the cover fits in with the vibe of Middle Of The Road, with the inspiration drawn from the idea that whatever is happing the bad man is coming round the corner and you have to be on your toes.
The beat and tone changes with Been So Long; the guitar riffs are structured, tight with truncated phrasing with a reggae feel underneath the blues and the lyrics. Picking up the feel of the songs about giving yourself space and freedom to find yourself and be true to your own destiny. Free from the demons that have been holding you back. Half way through and the lynch-pin of the album takes us to a pinnacle of sound that is infectious and meaningful.
The blues now picks up the heat and drive of Texas co-written with Lance Lopez (Supersonic Blues Machine) and featuring Christone ‘Kingfisher’ Ingram a young guitarist that is setting Mississippi aflame. Reflecting that Eric has helped himself and now is in a good place to help others. As the song says Help Yourself first then reach out. Another song full of blues hooks that are about self-awareness. The album is reflective as Eric explores his past experience, but never self-indulgent it reaches out to the listener who connects with many of the subjects explored throughout Middle of The Road, I’ve Been Deceived is exactly that, who hasn’t been deceived by people they love and trust. When truths as you see them become lies. The meanings of the song are endless and the guitar is sharp with lead breaks that encapsulate the pain of deception.
His brother Eugene joins in the journey through the Middle of The Road on Repetition displaying his songwriting skills. The bass opens giving a darker deeper tone when combined with the drums and vocal delivery that has a feeling of Prince’s Sign o’ The Times in timing and phrasing but words and delivery totally Gales’ way.
The penultimate track again is blues re-shaped with a modern beat, is a song about when you have the confidence of liking yourself, being happy where you are the journey is nearly complete when you can say I Don’t Know when you do not know something. There is nothing to fear someone will know and be able to help and give you the answer you are looking forward as rap tips into the blues before the magnificence that is Eric Gales’ guitar takes over and we are back on familiar territory that we do know and understand.
Closing the album full of confidence and style with an instrumental Swamp, we are definitely heading for clear waters with an album that leaves you delighted with the music. No doubting that Eric Gales is back producing the best music yet. Blues guitar with attitude, lyrics with a heartfelt understanding of the myriad emotions this album lays bare for the listener to explore and understand.
Check out the brand new track ‘Carry Yourself’ here:
“One of the best, if not the best guitar player in the world” Joe Bonamassa
“He is absolutely incredible” Carlos Santana
“How Eric Gales isn’t the hugest name in rock guitar is a total mystery” Dave Navarro
“This guy could be the best player on Earth” Mark Tremonti
“Unfortunately you have to go through some things to be free”, says Memphis born Eric Gales. “Now, I feel the most free I’ve ever been in life, even more so than when I was a kid”, he opens up. “You gotta help yourself man, once you can help yourself you can genuinely help someone else.”
The title of his new album Middle of the Road will be released on 24 February 2017 and is the running theme throughout the record. “It’s about being fully focussed and centred in the middle of the road. If you’re on the wrong side and in the gravel you’re not too good and if you’re on the median strip that’s not too good either, so being in the middle of the road is the best place to be.”
Middle of the Road is Eric Gales fourth album on Provogue/Mascot label Group (Joe Bonamassa, Beth Hart, Black Stone Cherry, Warren Haynes, The Robert Cray Band, Robben Ford, Eric Johnson, The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band) after Transformation (2011), Relentless (2010) and The Psychedelic Underground (2007) and it sees him at his most expressive yet; it is a deeply personal and reflective record that echoes where he is in his life right now and he opens himself up and allows himself the chance to really flourish.
Recorded in several locations; Room A Studio and Fab’s Lab in North Hollywood as well as Cuz Studio and Sound in Cleveland, MS and ‘Cotton Row Studios in Memphis, TN. With Aaron Haggerty (drums), Dylan Wiggins (B3 Organ), LaDonna Gales (All backing vocals), Maxwell ‘Wizard’ Drummey (Mellotron on Repetition) and Eric Gales providing all lead vocals, guitar and bass. It’s a beautiful snapshot of life right here, right now. “I played bass on the entire record, it was beautiful” he beams. “I’m a bass player at heart so Fabrizio was like ‘bro you need to be playing the bass’. It was something that was very natural for me to too, I loved it.”
Talking about the accolades he is starting to receive he humbly adds;” It’s absolutely great, I’m grateful to see the recognition for the work that God has allowed me to continue to progress with. It’s beautiful to see the recognition to be finally coming and in the proper way, unlike times where I was engaged into heavy addiction, where it wasn’t such good publicity, but to see it be changed around, it’s a great turn of events.”
This refers to the time he spent in jail serving at the Shelby County Correction Center in 2009 for possession of drugs and a weapon. Elaborating he adds; “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.” Whilst he was incarcerated he was able to play shows, for the Mayor, the city and festivals, his own version of Johnny Cash Walk the Line.
This is where Middle of the Road finds the rebirth of Eric Gales. A new album that has seen him more free than he’s ever been and on the biographic songs you take this journey with him. Along the way he brings in not only a host of guest and collaborators, but also those closest to him: Lauryn Hill, Gary Clark Jr, Eugene Gales, LaDonna Gales, Lance Lopez, Raphael Saadiq and Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram.
Much of the album is achingly heart on its sleeve and Change in Me [The Rebirth]is one of those moments, it’s about a new change in life. “I changed up some things in life and decided to go a new route”. “I wrote Carry Yourself with Raphael Saadiq and strangely enough, as I sit here looking at her that song is about LaDonna actually. It’s about how we met and how we grew to get to know each other through life and how she’s always carried herself. It has always been something I’m fascinated with. The only cover is the mesmerising interpretation of Boogie Man featuring Gary Clark Jr is something to behold. “I’m a fan of Freddie King anyway and I like that song. I just enjoyed the original version and I just put a little twist on it and music wise.” “Basically”, Gales adds, “The Boogie Man is about, so watch out cos there’s a bad guy on the way and you know, I’m coming! I think me and Gary did a really good job on that song.” Continuing the rebirth is Help Yourself, features 16 year old guitar sensation Christone ‘Kingsfish’ Ingram. I’ve Been Deceived has a multi-layered meaning to it. “Personally, I was talking about how I was deceived by addiction” he confesses and on Repetition, he goes back to the very beginning and where it started by collaborating with his ‘mentor’ and older brother Eugene Gales
“When I say the world will hear about it, you’ll see what I mean when you hear the record,” he says. “This record is going to take me everywhere that I’ve never been, and everywhere I’ve ever wanted to go.” Eric Gales
Releases in first quarter 2017 are looking exciting and this is top of the pile when measure against the Bluesdoodles excitement meter!