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Few names in blues and rock are as revered as Eric Gales. Born in 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, Gales has been a guitar superstar for well over three decades. His guitar mastery had been praised since Gales' self-titled Debut album in 1991 and has long been enjoyed by fans and critics throughout the world. From his earliest days playing on party porches to modern-day shredding, Gales' unique style of expressive playing has earned him legions of fans.
Gales originally began playing guitar at the age of four. By the time he was six, Eric was already being mentored by Albert Collins, one of the most influential blues guitarists of the 20th century. Gales went on to be invited to perform with many legendary musicians, such as B.B. King, Albert King, Elvin Bishop, and Buddy Guy. His career has been an exemplar of what talent, tenacity, and practice can bring out of a musician.
Throughout his almost 30 year career, Gales has been in a number of different projects, and bands. Gales began his professional career in 1989, when at the age of twenty he joined the short-lived blues-rock supergroup The Soul Hooligans. He left the band in 1991, to record his self-titled solo debut album.
In 1992 Gales formed the blues-rock band, Little Axe, with vocalist/harmonica player Rodney Attaway and bassist Teddy Andreadis. The band gained notoriety quickly with their first show being a set at Woodstock '94. Though Little Axe only made one studio album, they continued to tour until 1997.
From 1997 to 2001 Gales joined the blues-rock trio Eric Gales Band with bassist Vernon Reid and drummer Will Calhoun. The band released three studio albums in that four-year period and toured extensively throughout the US and Europe.
From 2003 to 2011 Gales created and headed another trio under his own name, again with two other musicians in tow, drummer Josiah Sharpe and bassist Steven Worley. This trio released four albums and toured the world over countless times.
In 2011 Gales went back to his solo career. Since then he has released five albums, the latest being The Bookends in 2019.
Gales is often associated or compared to many great blues and hard rock guitarists, including, but not limited to:
These comparisons often arise due to Gales' hard-hitting approach to the guitar. But his playing also pays homage to many blues and gospel music from his Memphis roots.
Eric Gales has a slew of classic blues and rock tunes under his belt, but some of the more popular and widely acclaimed include:
Guitar Messiah - This track is the title-track of Gales' 1993 debut studio album. It is arguably one of his most recognized and revered pieces of music.
The Change - This song is the title-track of Gales' 13th studio album and is a hard-hitting blues tune that features Gales' masterful slide guitar work.
Too Many Tears - This bluesy-rock cut is one of Gales' signature tunes and can be found on almost all of his live sets.
Messin' With Ya - This funk-rocker is the title-track of Gales' 2005 studio album and is perhaps the best example of his pop-sensibility.
Eric Gales has shown time and time again why he is one of the greatest blues-rock guitarists of all time. With his explosive playing style and ability to masterfully fuse blues, gospel and hard-rock, Gales has become a must-hear experience for fans of the genre and will continue to influence guitarists and music fans for years to come.
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