Provogue (label)

08 February 2019 (released)

04 January 2019

First time listening to this album had me wondering just what the heck Eric Gales is about.
No-one with ears would deny his undoubted guitar playing talents but some of this veers from (very) heavy Blues to sublime soul and dark funk, often in the same number and seemingly almost at a whim.

Further listening though, shows that Mr Gales is quite the musical polymath and he seems to be equally adept at all of his different styles and moods. In short, the problem is not with the player but the listener.

What I did find is that the album is a sublime collection that brings to mind heroes such as Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson, Sly Stone and Jimi Hendrix. There is a sense of joy that pervades the album and some playing that just defies ‘normal’.

‘It Just Beez That Way’ is one of the funkiest numbers I’ve heard in ages, he had me bouncing around the room like a fool, but he segues into a beautiful piece of soul with ‘How Do I Get You’. He duets with Beth Hart on a really heavy version of ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ that really hits the high points with his and Hart’s vocals meshing perfectly but he also lays down a gorgeous piece of jazz-funk working with Doyle Bramhall II – ‘Southpaw Serenade’ – that sits in the middle of the album like a fulcrum that the rest can revolve around.

I’ve heard a lot of great guitarists over the years but very few with the multiple chops that Eric Gales has and this is definitely the best I’ve heard from him thus far.

Great way to start the year.