The man that Joe Bonamassa has been quoted as saying “one of the best, if not THE best guitar player in the world” is both releasing a new album in January 2022 and also touring the UK in March and April playing music from it. That man is of course Eric Gales from Memphis USA. For those who don’t know much about this musician, he was a child prodigy who started playing guitar as a 4 or 5-year-old and released his first album simply called The Eric Gales Band when he was 16. Since then he has recorded 18 albums of his own as well as guesting elsewhere including several tribute albums.
One of the interesting things about him is that he plays similar to Jimi Hendrix, in that he plays left-handed with the guitar round the wrong way. This isn’t due to being left-handed though. His big brother who taught him to play was left-handed so Eric grew up thinking everybody played like that! He has jammed with many great players such as Carlos Santana (who said about him “he (Eric) is absolutely incredible), Eric Johnson and now on his latest single (see below) the aforementioned Joe Bonamassa. Eric also was in a trio at one point with a member of Kings X and an ex-member of The Mars Volta (Doug Pinnick and Thomas Pridgen bass and drums respectively).
His new album Crown (out on Provogue Friday, January 28) is a deeply personal one as he opens up about his struggles with alcohol and substance abuse, his hopes in his now sober ways and his own very personal views on the issue of racial discrimination in the world still today. He is 5 years sober (and counting) and he says he is now able to show a newfound confidence and freedom in his playing and writing. His new single is a fun track where he battles Mr. Bonamassa for the blues guitarist “crown”(see below). In both 2019 and 2020, he won “Blues-rock artist of the year” at the Blues Music Awards, which is only 10 years from when he was in prison for drug and weapon possessions making his reformation truly a success in every way. “I don’t have anything clouding my view” he said, concluding “and it’s a much purer place where it is all coming from“.
March/April UK Tour dates as Follows:
Brighton: Concorde-Wednesday 23 March
Dover: Booking Hall-Thursday 24 March
London: O2 Academy Islington-Friday 25 March
Southampton: 1865-Saturday 26 March
Bristol: Fleece-Sunday 27 March
Nottingham: Rescue Rooms-Tuesday 29 March
Bilston: The Robin-Wednesday 30 March
Manchester: Academy-Thursday 31 March
Glasgow: Oran Mor-Friday 1 April
Whitley Bay: Playhouse-Saturday 2 April
Leeds: Brudenell Social Club-Sunday 3 April
Support comes from English blues guitarist Danny Bryant who has shared support slots with artists such as Joe Cocker, Buddy Guy and the aforementioned Carlos Santana. For a while, he also filled in for the legendary Walter Trout when Walter was in hospital due to a liver transplant, not an easy task to say the least! A great double bill of blues and hard rock indeed!
Tickets from this TICKET LINK