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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Eric Gales. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eric Gales. Show all posts

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Provogue Records artist:Eric Gales - Middle Of The Road - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Middle of the Road from Eric Gales and it may be my favorite yet! Opening with revival style track, Good Time, Eric Gales is really upbeat with Aaron Haggerty on drums, Dylon Wiggins on B3 and LoDonna Gales on backing vocals. Bringing down the heat with reggae rhythmed blues number, Change In Me with a super bass line under fiery lead guitar riffs. Very cool. Carry Yourself is a nicely stylized radio blues track with a solid melody, cool vocals and crisp lead guitar. With it's jazzy bottom, Boogie Man bops along with soulful blues guitar riffs giving the track an almost Johnny Guitar feel. Very cool! Been So Long again has a bit of a reggae beat but with scorching guitar riffs and super bass lines under Gales always solid vocals. Very nice. Help Yourself follows a cool acoustic blues format but building into electric guitar riffs. Gales' tone both on rhythm and lead are super and his riffs are hot but not overplayed. On I Can't be Deceived lets the dog off the leash a bit more with scorching lead soloing and cool backing vocals. On funky, Repetition, Gales creates a dark sound with a nice bass line and Maxwell Drummey adds mellotron to backing vocals assembling the perfect bottom for his lead vocal and electrified guitar lead. Super! Another track with a super groove is I Don't Know with another rumbling bass line, super rhythm guitar, tight drums, nicely blended backing vocals and really cool lead work. Excellent! Wrapping the release is Swamp!, with more of a upbeat, almost jazz influenced, southern rock feel. I really like this release and think it is among his best works to date.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Eric Gales To Release "Middle Of The Road" On February 24th


“How Eric Gales isn’t the hugest name in rock guitar is a total mystery” Dave Navarro
“One of the best, if not the best guitar player in the world” Joe Bonamassa
“This guy could be the best player on Earth” Mark Tremonti
“He is absolutely incredible” Carlos Santana

“I feel the most free I’ve ever been in life, even more so than when I was a kid…you gotta help
yourself man, once you can help yourself you can genuinely help someone else.”

“When I say the world will hear about it, you’ll see what I mean when you hear the record.  This
record is going to take me everywhere that I’ve never been, and everywhere I’ve ever wanted to go.”

New York, NY --- Provogue / Mascot Label Group will release Eric Gales new studio album Middle Of The Road on February 24.  Memphis-born Gales shares, “Unfortunately you have to go through some things to be free.  Now, I feel the most free I’ve ever been in life, even more so than when I was a kid.  You gotta help yourself man, once you can help yourself you can genuinely help someone else.” The title, “Middle of the Road,” is the running theme throughout the record. He offers, “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.”

The release 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.

It’s well documented that Gales was a child prodigy and heralded as the second coming of Jimi Hendrix when he released his debut album The Eric Gales Band in 1991 as a 16 year-old on Elektra Records. It was the first of 10 albums on a major label through a blistering career. He has released 14 studio albums in total ahead of Middle of the Road and a host of other collaborations, one of which led him to work with producer Fabrizio Grossi (Alice Cooper, Joe Bonamassa, Billy F. Gibbons, Ice T, Leslie West, Slash, Walter Trout, Steve Lukather, Steve Vai, Paul Stanley, Supersonic Blues Machine).

Talking about working with Eric, Grossi offers; “I’ve been a fan of Eric since i first worked with him 15 years ago on a project with George Clinton & the P.Funk. His tone and his playing was wicked. Personally and musically Eric grew into a ‘monster’ , a really good one and he’s set on a path of huge success with a ‘taking no prisoners’ type of attitude! I know a very few musicians with such a musicality and Eric is right there a head of the bunch. I hope fans will dig. There’s lots of love, tears, sweat and “truth” in this record, which is what classics are made of. As far what I think about him: Eric is simply Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix’ love child, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.” 

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.”

Recent years have seen an array of musicians singing the praises of Eric Gales. Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction – Red Hot Chili Peppers) exclaimed that “How Eric Gales isn’t the hugest name in rock guitar is a total mystery”, modern blues icon Joe Bonamassa said he is “One of the best, if not the best guitar player in the world”, whilst Mark Tremonti (Alter Bridge) said in a Classic Rock Magazine interview (Oct 2016) that “me and Myles [Kennedy] were on the bus looking up clips and we ran into some Eric Gales clips and we were just like ‘this guy could be the best player on Earth.’”

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 versio 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.” “I shot the rhythm of “Been So Long over to Lauryn Hill and she was like ‘that’s hot’”. And now begins the start of another beautiful collaboration. “I said I had an idea of what I wanted the song to be about, like it’s been so long since I’ve given myself a proper chance which goes back to “Middle of the Road which is the reoccurring theme.”  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.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Cleopatra Records artist: Eric Gales - A Night On The Sunset Street - New Release Review - CD/DVD

I just received the newest release (July 8, 2016), A Night On The Sunset Strip, from Eric Gales, and it's really strong. Opening with Make It There, Gales and crew are FUNKY! Backed by Cesar Oviedo on bass who's emphasis is additive and percussive and Nicholas Hayes, who's drumming is crisp and direct this band is tight and spontaneous. Gales, of course, has the mic, playing a green/gold metallic Strat and his soloing is absolutely fluid. This man can throw down 50 note runs barely moving is gingers. Great opener. On modified boogie track, The Change In Me, Oviedo sets a solid boogie bass line but this track has some changes in mind. With effective use of rim shots and snappy jazz turns by Hayes and classy chords by Gales, this track is adventurous. Gales slowly builds dynamics using light bursts of fire but ultimately exploding into full out speed riffs, but not without returning to the jazzy chords and light touch to close. An interview with Gales is interjected between tracks and his honest and informative dialogue adds nicely to the film. Gales wife, Ladonna Gales and cousin, Tyrone Thomas Jr. join the band onstage with rich vocal work on jazz influenced rocker, Block The Sun. Gales vocals on this track really take it in an interesting direction with soulful, bluesy phrasing and the blend is really interesting. His guitar playing is inspired, fast and intense. Very nice. Heavily R&B influenced The Open Road, keeps the playing light and free with nicely blended vocals and a stern kick drum. Using synthetic processing at times, Gales shows his precise, expressive guitar riffs in a most understated manner. This man is have fun and not just blasting it in your face. Nicely done. Boogaloo style instrumental, Sea Of Bad Blood, takes some really interesting jazz turns with Gales playing a lot of rhythm guitar and adding lush jazz chords. Gales leaves the stage giving Oviedo and Hayes free rein to play a nicely progressive jam. Gales returns to the stage for a really lush wrap. Very nice. Instrumental, Swamp erupts a as a rockin jam with everybody at full overdrive. Hard driving and aggressive, this track rocks. Rejoining Gales are Ladonna and Tyrone as well as well as Dylan Wiggins on keys for modern neo soul track, 1019. With it's funky bottom and super key work, Gales and troupe really are visiting Johnny Guitar Watson territory. I really like this track with it's funky interplay between the bottom and Gales vocal and his blues rock guitar work. Excellent! Digging up country roots but with heavy blues and rock influence, Good For Sumthin' openings with a very traditional vamp. Developing this track with funky overtones and heavy bottom, this track has a great groove. Wrapping the release is Jagger/Richards track, Miss You. Raphael Saadiq joins on bass for this final number giving it just a bit more soul and jazz than the original. Gales takes pride in showing off some real nice chords abefore breaking into a real expressive speed blues solo. Strong conclusion to a super concert.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

14th Annual Blues From The Top Festival: Trampled Under Foot Reunion, Much More!


Two Big Days - Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26
At Winter Park, CO


    (WINTER PARK, CO) - This year's 14th Annual Blues From The Top Festival features its finest music lineup yet, with a reunion by renowned Blues-Americana group, Trampled Under Foot! The festival - presentede by the Grand County Blues Society- takes place Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26, at Hideaway Park, 78820 US Highway 40, in Winter Park. A portion of the festival's proceeds benefit Blue Star Connection, now in it's tenth year of providing access and ownership of musical instruments for children and young adults with cancer and other serious challenges, as well as providing music therapy departments with instruments. Tickets (now through Sunday, May 15): $20. (1-day Pass) or $35. (2-day Pass), available at the website, Radio Shack in Fraser; and the Winter Park Visitor's Center. Ticket prices after May 15: General Admission 1-Day Pass (Saturday or Sunday), $28., General Admission 2-Day Pass $49. Kids 13 and under, free. Buy tickets/additional info:

           All other Festival information:

    Grand County Blues Society Mission Statement is "To support the Blues by bringing National and International Blues Artists to Grand County on a regular basis, and to bring Blues Education into the schools of Grand County." 

Trampled Under Foot reunites for the 14th Annual Blues From The Top Festival. 
They perform on Saturday, June 25 in the headlining slot.

   Each day of Blues From The Top features a star-studded lineup. Saturday it's a Trampled Under Foot Reunion Show, the Albert Castiglia Band (with Josh Smith and Kate Moss), Monkey Junk, Kara Grainger, Josh Hoyer & Soul Collective, and the Austin Young Blues all-Stars featuring Michaela Rae, Michael Hornbuckle and others. Sunday's lineup is headlined by guitarist Eric Gales, Samantha Fish Band, Jimmy Hall with My Blue Sky, Willie K and the Warehouse Blues Band, John Nemeth with Deana Bogart and Jimmy Carpenter, and the High Mountain Gospel Choir with Renee Austin, Tempa Singer, Southern Review, Bart Szop, and more.
Both days also feature a "Keeping The Blues Alive" stage with many of today's best young national and regional blues talent.  

        Colorful blues guitarist Eric Gales (pictured) headlines the Sunday, June 26  star-studded 14th Annual Blues From The Top Festival lineup.

About The 14th Annual Blues From The Top Festival Headliners

   Trampled Under Foot: The soul blues trio Trampled Under Foot consists of siblings Danielle Schnebelen (lead vocals and bass), Nick Schnebelen (guitars and vocals) and Kris Schnebelen, (drums). They grew up with the blues in Kansas City. Their father, Bill, was a blues guitarist in the band Little Eva and would regularly take his three children to jam sessions. Growing up, the siblings played separately in numerous bands over the years. Danielle was in Fresh Brew (1999-2004), Kris was a staple at blues clubs, and Nick was in Killing Floor (or K-Floor), and briefly, Buddahead. Missing the family camaraderie, the siblings formed Trampled Under Foot in 2000. The band released four studio sessions: Trampled Under Foot (2006), May I Be Excused in (2008), and Wrong Side of the Blues in (2011). They also issued Live at the Notodden Blues Festival in 2010. The combination of those releases and non-stop touring caught the attention of the jazz and blues label Telarc, who signed the band in 2013. They issued their fifth studio album, Badlands, that same year. In 2016 the famed trip reunites to perform at the 14th Blues From The Top Festival.
     Eric Gales: Blues guitar phenom Eric Gales was born and raised in Memphis, learning to play at age four from older brothers Eugene and Manuel in imitation of their upside-down, left-handed style (a tradition actually passed down from their grandfather, Dempsey Garrett Sr., who was known to jam with the likes of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf). Winning his first blues contest at 11, four years later Eric signed to Elektra to issue his 1991 debut LP, recorded with Eugene on bass; Picture of a Thousand Faces followed in 1993. Manuel (who previously performed under the alias Little Jimmy King) reunited with his siblings for 1995's Left Hand Band, credited to the Gales Brothers. A newly matured Gales returned in spring 2001 to release his debut for MCA, That's What I Am. Often billed as the second coming of Jimi Hendrix, Gales, an adequate singer at best but a dynamite guitarist, suffered for the comparison. With Gales always influenced by Hendrix and the power trio format, his next albums, 2006's Crystal Vision and 2007's Psychedelic Underground, both released by Blues Bureau Records, seemed like facsimile Hendrix albums, right down to the album art. His next two releases from Blues Bureau, 2008's The Story of My Life and 2009's Layin' Down the Blues, found the Hendrix influence muted somewhat, but Gales, a breathtaking guitarist at times, still seemed to be looking for a way out of the Hendrix shadow and into his own voice. Gales returned in 2010 with Relentless, a collection of 13 originals, and followed it with the passionate Transformation a year later in 2011. The all-instrumental Ghost Notes arrived in the fall of 2013.




Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Ken Valdez - Soul Renegade - New Release review

I just received the newest release (April 5, 2016), Soul Renegade, from Ken Valdez and it's adventurous. Opening with title track, Soul Renegade, Ken Valdez quickly establishes his notoriety as a singer songwriter and guitar player with a nicely crafted and executed blues rock ballad. Paul Peterson on bass, Mario Dawson on drums, Ricky Peterson on B3 and Jason Petersen Delaine on backing vocals round out the force giving Valdez a solid platform for a brief but tense guitar solo. Rio Grande Blues has a strong blues rock posture along the lines of Mountain or Mahogany Rush. With a solid bass line and cocky vocals, this is one of my favorite tracks on the release. Sugar Shakin' Boogaloo has strong Jimmy Reed lines and with super player Chris Duarte adding his fluid riffs, this track rocks! Make It has a super underlying bottom riff that gives the track real traction. Kevin B.F. Burt adds tasty harp riffs but the super balance between Valdez and Hazel Miller's vocals and the heavy bottom makes for a great track with some hot guitar flash. Sometimes has an almost Alan Parson's poppy funk feel but the raw edge of Valdez's vocals and stinging guitar riffs from guitar monster Eric Gales take it light years away. Far From Gone has a hi stepping R&B style and nicely the blended vocals featuring Valdez and Miller. Detroit Iron is an uptempo rocker featuring Tucker Sterling Jensen on bass and Joe Diaz on drums. Valdez takes his most aggressive solo on the release on this track, really letting it loose. With R Peterson on B3 this track cooks. Funky, Final Season, is a tight rocker featuring Adam Daniel on keys and B3. This track has a great groove giving Valdez some nice space to lay out some really nice guitar riffs. Hot! Whiskey and Water is a quiet country style ballad with Valdez singing some of his most serious vocals. Backed by Shalo Lee on vocals and with Greg Jennings on slide, this track has solid radio potential. Angels retains a bit of that country feel with a strong swatch of gospel. With Miller, Valdez, Jensen and Mary Cutrufello on backing vocals and a real nice piano solo from Brian Leeper this track is another of my favorites. Pulling from Willie Dixon's library, Wang Dang Doodle gets a heavy rock twist on an already solid blues base. This is a nicely stylized redo of a classic track and a great closer.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Provogue Records artist: Supersonic Blues Machine - West Of Flushing South Of Frisco - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, West of Flushing South of Frisco, from Supersonic Blues Machine and it's a smokin' cool release. Featuring the leadership of Lance Lopez (guitar and vocal), Kenny Aronoff (drums and percussion) and Fabrizzio Grossi (bass, Hammond and vocals) this band is cooking. Opening with Miracle Man, a southern influenced blues rocker, the band is really off to a great start complimented by Jimmy Z Zavala on harp, Serge Simic on acoustic guitar, Garrett Hollbrock on lap steel and Francis Bentez and Andrea Grossi on backing vocals. Next up is I Ain't Fallin Again, a sophisticated rocker with a cool back beat and a solid drive. Billy F Gibbons leads the way on vocal and guitar on Running Whiskey a straight up rocker with a definite Gibbons flavor. Remedy, features Warren Haynes and his influence is immediately noticed with a warm, laid back feel. Trading lead riffs and vocals with Lopez, Haynes doesn't dominate the track at all and it actually feels a bit like a cool Marshall Tucker influence with new wind in it's sails. Bone Bucket Blues is a great boogie with Paulo Verdone on lead guitar with Lopez on lead vocal and guitar. This track is hot with Jimmy Z's harp work as icing. Let It Be is a cool soul rocker track with some of Lopez's best vocals on the release. I particularly like Grossi's bass work on this track complimented by Hammond work by Sam Lusting and a solid solo from Lopez. Very nice! That's My Way features Chris Duarte on some flaming hot guitar riffs joined by Lopez on lead guitar and vocal and also featuring some tight bass work from Grossi. Ain't No Love (In The Heart of the City) is one of my favorite tracks on the release with particularly strong vocals from Lopez and strong backing vocal support from Francis and Andrea. Excellent! Nightmares and Dreams takes a heavier swagger and rightly so with guitar monster Eric Gales joining. Lopez, Francis and Andrea handle the vocals really nicely and with a rock solid bottom from Aronoff and lively bass by Grossi, this track is propelled by the guitar pyrotechnics of Lopez and Gales. Can't Take It No More has an almost Wishbone Ash feel with twin guitar leads courtesy of Lopez and Walter Trout. Trading lead vocals and Pink Floyd backing vocals by Francis and Andrea, this track is super. This is a really nice stack up with Trout and Lopez. It isn't as much a slug fest as it is a choreographed joust. Very nice! Whiskey Time is a 2 plus extended jam excerpt from Running Whiskey. You like guitars... this is cool! The king of the melodic blues guitar players, Robben Ford shares center stage for ballad, Let's Call It A Day. Lopez is in the left channel and Ford in the right channel, playing melodically along with Lopez's smooth vocals on this top selected radio track. Wrapping the release is Watchagonnado, a funky track with a super groove. Grossi sets a really nice bottom and Francis and Andrea highlight Lopez's super vocals. Phil Parlapiano adds a grat funky Hammond set and Lopez's guitar riffs really make this the best track on the release. Very cool!

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Heritage Music BluesFest coming soon August 7-9, 2015, Wheeling, West Virginia

Heritage Music Bluesfest 2015
Main Stage Lineup

·         11:30am - 1:00pm - Taste of the Blues FREE PREVIEW
·         4:00 pm - GATES OPEN
·         5:00 to 6:00 - Eric Gales
·         6:30 to 7:30 - Nikki Hill
·         8:00 to 9:00 - Albert Cummings
·         9:30 to 11:00 - The Lowrider Band

·         12:00 to 1:00 - Randy McQuay - IBC Solo/Duo Winner
·         1:30 to 2:30 - The Gold Magnolias
·         3:00 to 4:00 - Austin Walkin' Cane
·         4:30 to 5:45 - Mike Zito and the Wheel
·         6:15 to 7:30 - Carolyn Wonderland
·         8:00 to 9:15 - John Nemeth's Memphis Grease Party
·         9:45 to 11:00 - Walter Trout

·         12:30 to 1:20 - Gina Sicilia
·         1:50 to 2:40 - Billy The Kid CD release with special guests TBA
·         3:10 to 4:00 - Jason Ricci
·         4:30 to 5:30 - Samantha Fish
·         6:00 to 7:00 - Coco Montoya
·         7:30 to 8:30 - Victor Wainwright and the Wildroots
·         9:00 to 10:30 - Keb' Mo'

Schedule subject to change

Second Stage with local and regional acts, After Jams

Keb' Mo'

Walter Trout

John Nemeth

Nikki Hill