Home' Rhythms Magazine : 2017 Mar-Apr Contents 72 Rhythms
CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF RHYTHMS MAGAZINE -
Quotes from the likes of Dave navarro and Joe
Bonamassa describe memphis-born eric Gales as a hot
shot guitarist. yet words alone cannot convey the sheer
delight he expresses and inspires on stage. a fireball
of joy spreads to his audience and sets this 'born again'
musician apart. new album Middle Of The Road is his
15th studio release.
I called Gales in LA where he was about to "get right to
work" on another studio session. I'd just seen an online clip
of his live medley where Beethoven's 'Für Elise' rolls over
into Led Zep's 'Kashmir', AC/DC then Hendrix... With each
riff, each chord change, every flourish across strings, Gales
appears to surprise himself as does the guitar. "Absolutely.
That's exactly what's happening. You figured it out," he
laughs. The enjoyment is made sweeter given the path
he trod to get here. His debut album with The Eric Gales
Band saw the then 16-year-old hailed as 'the next big thing'.
Serving gaol time in 2009 (possession of drugs and a
weapon) sidelined that career. While doing time, he played
shows for dignitaries and events, his 'keepers' assuring
him a better future was within reach. On the outside, he
eventually got serious about making music.
Producer Frabrizio Grossi (Alice Cooper, Billy F. Gibbons,
Ice T, Slash, Walter Trout, Steve Vai, Paul Stanley) first
worked with Gales 15 years ago on a project with George
Clinton and the P Funk. Gales has performed with Carlos
Santana (Woodstock 1994), guitarist Zakk Wylde (Ozzy
Osborne band) and Grammy winner Eric Johnson. Part of
the 'Experience Hendrix' tour, he also worked with hip hop
groups Triple 3 Mafia and Prophet Posse. Gales started
out as a bass player. Grossi urged him to take that role
alongside lead guitar and vocals on MOTR. Gales' mother
raised him on church music, gospel standards. From his big
brothers, he heard all that rock 'n' roll, blues and psychedelic
grooves offered. "Stevie Ray Vaughan, Robin Trower,
Hendrix... all those cats," he says. "I listened to them, like
religiously... and I mixed 'em all together and made a style
all my own." Though right-handed, he adopted a left-handed
upside down playing style from watching brother Eugene.
Eugene is among guests on MOTR. Recorded in Memphis,
North Hollywood and Cleveland, the album features Aaron
Haggerty (drums), Dylan Wiggins (B3 Organ) and LaDonna
Gales (backing vocals). Maxwell ‘Wizard’ Drummey plays
Mellotron on 'Repetition' on which Gales collaborates
with Eugene. "It was a great thing to get my brother on
this record... and take it to the next level." Freddie King
cover 'Boogie Man' features Gary Clark Jr. “I’m a fan of the
original version and I just put a little twist on it."
Other contributors include Lauryn Hill, Lance Lopez,
Raphael Saadiq and 16-year-old guitarist Christone
‘Kingfish’ Ingram. A mentor to the young 'Kingfish', Gales
was 'saved' by music and hopes to help others learn from
his mistakes. "I'm an open book about everything I've been
through. If my story can be an inspiration to somebody,
having the opportunity to be a vessel to share that story,
is enough for me." Opening track 'Good Times' signals
just that. The renewed positivity in his life is reflected in
a straight up feelgood declaration. "How the recording
came together was just amazing. The vibe came through
in every song and every song means something," he says.
'Help Yourself' advises those who've strayed off the straight
and narrow that here's always a way back but it starts with
personal effort and responsibility.
Gales and his touring band of the last five years will play
Bluesfest in Australia. "I'll be there with my drummer
Nick Hayes, my wife on vocals and Cody Wright on bass.
I cannot wait!" Is there a chance we'll see he and buddy
Carlos Santana sharing some stage time? Gales chuckles, "I
think you will. I'm su-ure you will." His wishes for the future?
"Man, I'm just here for whatever comes my way that’s
eric Gales plays Bluesfest on April 14 & 16, national dates in
the Gig Guide.
Links Archive 2017 Jan-Feb 2017 May-Jun Navigation Previous Page Next Page