Eric Gales Live Review

Eric Gales “LIVE” Review by Scott Thomas

If you haven't heard of Eric Gales, you have to look no further. Why you ask? 'Cuz I'm gonna tell ya all about 'em right here...

I'm listening to the first live tune from the CD called "The Open Road"... Man can this kat ‘draw you in’ nice and groovy-like with his soulful guitar playing, enjoyable vocals and retrospective story-telling lyrics. 

The production is superb and there is a nice after thought by adding a "Live" DVD production to this package too. You get a "Live" CD with colorfully designed cover art and inlay and then a "Live" in concert DVD of the CD version. You can listen in the Car Stereo on the way home in traffic, then get home and watch it for a night of entertainment on the big screen TV and stereo system. I like the Shrapnel Records-Group's progressive forward thinking on giving you more ways to enjoy your digital music. 

I have watched the live footage DVD a few times now, and let me tell ya, Eric Gales is an amazing musician, singer, and songwriter first and foremost and then comes the cherry on the top; he just so happens to be one heck of a phenomenal guitar player. He is Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Eric Johnson all bundled into one cool, smooth guitar player. However, it would only take one time listening to him and you will never forget him or his style of playing. His tone, songwriting, and lead guitar playing are uniquely his. When he plays his guitar, he plays a right-handed guitar upside down and left-handed using all kinds of Chinese chords and chordal playing.

The song "The Change In Me" is a ZZ-TOP inspired romp into southern blues rock and roll that tells a story of  “once doin' bad, but now doin’ good”...  then the maestro goes on to sing. “You see a change in me” as Eric laments in the chorus section of the song. And the guitar playing on this is just extraordinary indeed. He dominates the guitar like a possessed soul. In addition, he is a masterful entertainer who understands how to play a great set list of tunes to an audience in many tempos and styles of blues music. Yes, in other words, Eric Gales is naturally gifted. He reminds me of a younger Buddy Guy. Eric keeps getting deeper into his music with each progressing album. 

Now I'm listening to "Freedom from My Demons" and this is a slow mysterious blues shuffle that will have you drowning in cheap wine. What's the word?  "Thunderbird"? And the price was forty twice... Mr. Gales shows more of his guitar tone and musical prowess all the while playing some really heartfelt lyrics about walking the narrow line and getting some “piece of mind”. And let’s not forget about those damn hell hounds at the front door all the time; as he explains in the song’s verse. Deep, deep lyrics here for sure… The guitar solo is so expressive but commanding at the same time. In the DVD version, I watch as Eric just smokes his axe. The dude gives you the feeling while playing that his fret-board could catch on fire at anytime. He's good at bringing the music sonically up and down with his dynamic playing and band direction. Yes, like a preacher man with a guitar. Take me to the mountain top!!! The percussions and bass playing is spot on and gives Eric all the breathing room he needs. Wow!!!

The galloping tune "Make It There" is a foot-tapping venture with a nice bouncing rhythm and with very creative percussions. The call and response and vocal lead melody lines doubling with the guitar is righteous and creatively inciting and enticing.

"Me and My Guitar" is a double time swing blues that will have you hop’n and a bop’n and two-step'n in the blink of an eye. I would say Texas blues for sure. Smartly done.

Oh yes, and now my favorite song "Universal Peace Pipe". This guitar energetic and unpredictable instrumental hooked me the first time I listened to it as the notes graced by my ears. There is allot of “hair rising on the back of your neck” string-bending on this track. The song has a nice cohesive carefree motive woven in and out of the main melody line. And, once again, it is one heck of a performance with his lightening speed virtuosic guitar playing. 

"Wings of Rock and Roll" illuminates the raw passion that propels this man's energy and artistry.  The guitar, vocals, bass, ambience and spaciousness on these tracks are pristine and you can clearly hear it. The mixing of this album has been superbly done. There is definitely a sincerely delicious sense of depth and dynamics, and 'air' on these worthy live tracks. The drumming on this tune takes the song to an overall heightened level in the performance 

The next rocker up to bat is "The Liar"... Talk about swagger... This tune’s main riff walks like Wyatt Earp courageously and methodically down the ol’ cow-town's dirt street to a twelve-noon Gun fight at the “OK" Coral. I mean it, this song "The Lair" takes you places without you having to even leave the farm.  The music will have your soaring like an eagle in the end…

Here we have another Texas swing call "Double Dippin" and that's exactly what Eric is gonna do to your ears. Once again, he'll have you shaking a leg with this song. This is the 'Stray Cats' on steroids. The fidelity and sound quality are fantastically full and rich...

"Dark Corners of My Mind" shows a more serious side to Gales' song writing. The progression reaches out to you... This tune has that Joe Bonamassa flavor on it. Even maybe some influences of the late great Jeff Healy. I know when I listen to the album with head phones, I can barely believe how fast and articulate Eric's monster blues rock chops are leaving me scratching my head... It's as if it makes me want to go watch the "Live" DVD again and again so I can see it and believe it with my very own eyes.

The last track but definitely not the least one is "Retribution". This is a tight "Kick in the Gut" type track. The bass playing on this is dynamic and really drives the bottom end to infectious riffs and hot percussions. Mr. Gales is a powerful force and emotional enough to resurrect the dead… 

Parting Shot across the Bow: This album of music is one of Eric Gales' greatest musical statements to date. Grace under pressure!!!

Track Listings

Disc: 1

1. The Open Road

2. Layin'Down The Blues

3. The Change In Me

4. Freedom From My Demons

5. Make It There

6. Me And My Guitar

7. Universal Peacepipe

8. Wings Of Rock and Roll

9. The Liar

10. Double Dippin'

11. Dark Corners Of My Mind

12. Retribution

Disc: 2

1. The Open Road

2. Layin'Down The Blues

3. The Change In Me

4. Freedom From My Demons

5. Make It There

6. Me And My Guitar

7. Universal Peacepipe

8. The Liar

9. Dark Corners Of My Mind

10. Double Dippin'

11. Railroaded

12. Transformation

13. Retribution


Eric Gales Live Review Music