Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

ERIC GALES

Transformation

2011-08-16

Nick's Picks: 01 Railroaded, 08 Transformation, 10 Sea of Bad Blood

FCC ALERT: "Nothing Here"

Review by Steven "Nick" Nickelson of Eric Gales Transformation:

Eric Gales is someone I had not heard of, and as usual, I must have been living in a cave too long. Although this guy is technically a guitar phenomenon, I like his music a lot better than his lyrics ("Railroaded", "I Pity The Fool", "Time Waits For No One", "Too Late To Cry"). After having watched a few YouTube videos of previous performances, I have come to the conclusion that the only thing really off kilter here is the sound mixing (and perhaps the drummer, who seems to only know one way of playing). Having said all that, I suggest you listen to his remarkable playing - putting aside the below-average percussion and mixing. I especially liked that most of the cuts on this cd appear to have been expressly written just to showcase his mastery of the six string - which he does exceedingly well ("Double Dippin", "Tortured Mind","Altered Destiny", "Transformation", "I Wouldn't Treat A Dog That Way") . It helps, as well, to have a bass player who can keep in step with him. This cd suffers from a serious lack of depth - given more background instrumentation (excepting "Sea of Bad Blood", which introduces some kick-butt keyboard playing). I think this could have been Eric's signature masterpiece. Perhaps in the not too distant future Eric will come out with a mix of his music, covers of others, and a larger band. I think it would be a killer combination. That's my two nickels' worth.......................Nick

ARTIST BIO:

Eric Gales picked up the guitar at age four. His older siblings, Eugene and Manuel ("Little Jimmy King"), took to teaching him many songs and licks at a young age, in the style of Jimi Hendrix, Albert King, B. B. King and others. In 1985, the young Gales began to play at blues competitions with his brother Eugene backing him on bass. Although Gales plays a right-handed guitar "upside-down" (with the E-bass string on the bottom), he is not naturally left-handed; he was taught by his brother who is left-handed and never second-guessed the untraditional technique.[1] In late 1990, Eric and Eugene Gales signed with Elektra Records, and together with drummer Hubert Crawford released 1991's The Eric Gales Band and 1993's Picture of a Thousand Faces. Guitar World Magazine's Reader's Poll named Eric as "Best New Talent", in 1991. During this time he scored two rock radio hits, "Sign of the Storm" (#9 U.S. Mainstream Rock) and "Paralyzed" (#31 U.S. Mainstream Rock)[2] and had spots on television programs such as The Arsenio Hall Show. In 1994 Eric performed with Carlos Santana at the Woodstock 94' concert.[3] In 1995, Eric Gales teamed up with both of his brothers to record an album under the band name of The Gales Brothers. Left Hand Brand was released in 1996. 2001 saw Gales return with his album That's What I Am on MCA Records. Gales has more recently released the albums Crystal Vision, The Psychedelic Underground,The Story of my Life and Layin' Down the Blues on the Shrapnel Records label. His most recent album is 2010's Relentless, with a new album for 2011 entitled "Transformation" due in August. He maintains a strong friendship with record producer Mike Varney. Gales has one daughter, Jasmine (born 1992), and on August 31, 2001 he married Susan Gales. In 2008, he, along with many other guitar greats, participated in the touring tribute to Jimi Hendrix, Experience Hendrix. the touring group of musicians included Billy Cox (of Band of Gypsys fame), Eric Johnson, Chris Layton (Drummer for Stevie Ray Vaughan's rhythm section, Double Trouble), Doyle Bramhall II, Brad Whitford (of Aerosmith) and was the last tour that Mitch Mitchell ever played. In the winter of 2010 Eric Gales returned to the touring circuit in Europe with TM Stevens on bass guitar and Keith LeBlanc on drums. The tour was billed as VooDoo Chile and featured works of Jimi Hendrix as well as original material from both Gales and Stevens.

The performers: Eric Gales – lead vocals, guitar, and co-writer; Aaron Haggerty – drums; Steve Evans – bass guitar; B. Lucky - background vocals; Mike Varney - producer and co-writer; Jason D'Ottavia - sound mix and recording

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.