Eric Gales is one of the greatest blues and rock guitarist of his generation and his incredible and spectacular playing has generated the respect of a lot of guitar fans, as well as artists such as Eric Johnson, Joe Bonamassa (one of the producers and also features in Eric’s latest album “Crown”), Dave Navarro, Gary Clark Jr and Zakk Wylde and the incredible Carlos Santana himself.
Eric was born in Memphis, US and since 1991, his mission has been to redefine the language of blues guitar with stunning virtuosity combining a lot of different sounds like jazz and classical music and delivering his music with a combination of emotional intensity and marvelous precision. It is also clear, from Gales craftsmanship, that one of his influences has always been the great Jimi Hendrix. In the same year, 1991, and at only 16 he released his debut album “The Eric Gales Bond”, via Elektra Records. It was the first of 10 albums on a major label!
Over the course of 30 years, he managed to release 16 studio albums in total ahead of “Crown”, and his passion for guitar and the deep desire to make music became vital and never faded. It is not a secret, that Gales’ past has not been easy. He had battled drink and drug issues and spent time in jail for possession of drugs and a weapon. But now, almost six years sober, a rejuvenated and healed Gales released a masterpiece such as “Crown”, the strongest album of his career in terms of songwriting, singing and his signature explosive guitar playing. Produced, as mentioned before, by Joe Bonamassa and John Smith, includes feeling of positivity and dedication as well as his reflection on the state of the world we are living in today.
The photo pit is roaring tonight, and I must say that it is a little challenging for me as it’s full of “big lads” photographers ready to push me on a side, but don’t worry as your little photographer manages to squeeze herself around in order to get some snaps. Nothing can’t stop me! 😊
Special guest and opening act on all March and April shows is British blues rock guitarist Danny Bryant. Hailed as a national blues treasure, Bryant recently released his 12th album “The Rage to Survive” to critical acclaim. And at 7pm on the dot, he hits the stage and starts to play some remarkable blues. Danny has a large catalogue of music and a lot of songs to play in his fairly big performance’s slot.
He is super fun and very entertaining and loves to interact with the audience in between songs. He also mentions how happy he is to be able to finally play a live show! The whole performance is filled with epic and precise guitar solos played with a full set of emotions. Danny’s music embodies a lot of classical influences that forged blues over the last few decades. He is the right artist to warm up the room!
The room is packed, and the crowd is frantically moving around to experience some of the magic blues that only Gales can bring. One of the most touching parts of the whole performance is when he proudly tells his story of abusing drugs and drinking, before he approaches to sing “You Don’t Know the Blues”. Through his experience with struggle, he narrates inspirational words to everyone who is in a similar situation or that has someone dear to them in the same situation. It is a truly powerful moment!
His lyrics address not only personal and professional issues, but also socio-political difficulties that he faced and overcome, such as in the song “Thunder (The Storm)”, mainly focused on his personal reflection on racism. As soon as he starts singing, tears are coming down his face and he barely has words coming out his mouth; you can really feel the emotions coming through!
The rest of the setlist goes fast and without even knowing is the end of the night. I was not disappointed, and he exceeded the expectations! Eric Gales is a true artist, generous of spirit and naturally gifted and he definitely knows how to put up a show!
• Smokestack Lightening
• You Don’t Know the Blues
• Thunder (The Storm)
• Put It Back
• Stand Up
• Take Me As I Am
• Sea of Bad Blood (1 verse)
• Too Close to the Fire
Make sure to catching him on his other UK dates, as you won’t regret it; and if you are not a fan of Blues, I’m sure you’ll still have an amazing time!
Wednesday 30th March – Bilston, The Robin
Thursday 31st March – Manchester, Academy
Friday, 1st April – Glasgow, Oran Mor
Saturday 02nd April – Whitley Bay, Playhouse
Sunday 03rd April – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
Thursday 02nd June – Leamington Assembly
Saturday 04th June – Chester Live Rooms
Sunday 05th June – York, The Crescent
Monday 06th June – Newcastle, The Cluny
Tuesday 07th June – Bury Met Theatre
Wednesday 08th June – Basingstoke, The Haymarket
Photos by Selena Ferro