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Oct 13th
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Guitar Hero

music_EricGalesHendrix doppelganger Eric Gales schools DQ’s in the blues
All too many blues rock albums consist exclusively of AAB lyric schemes slung over the same 12-bar pattern we’ve heard millions of times before. Holding it all together are guitar riffs so clichéd that the player might as well use air quotes before and after playing them. The only real surprises for the listener are what the key and tempo of the next song will be, and whether the singer will complain about romantic troubles, financial hardship, legal issues or health concerns.

While some such songs do inhabit blues guitar monster Eric Gales’ latest album, Relentless, they’re outnumbered by tunes with far more original melodic, harmonic and lyrical information. If there’s such a thing as “progressive blues rock,” Gales’ music might just fall under this category. The main attraction here is Gales’ fiery lead guitar playing: His triplet flurries, brazen double stops and demon-conjuring string bends led Guitarist magazine to name him Best Blues Player of 2010.

Gales, once considered a child prodigy, discovered his musical talent at age 4, when he picked up a guitar and immediately began making coherent sounds. “I was like, ‘Man, this is kind of cool! I think I can play this thing,’” the bluesman recalls. The groove he was playing was a simple one, “but to me, that was big shit to be doin’ at 4 years old. To me, I was rockin’ out with my cock out!”

With a little guidance from his brother Eugene, the young musician progressed quickly. Though naturally right-handed, he learned to play the guitar Hendrix-style: He flipped a right-handed guitar upside-down and used his left hand for picking. “For the longest time, I didn’t know if I was right- or left-handed, ’cause I didn’t know which way to label the way that I played,” he says. “By the time I learned that it was the ‘wrong’ way, I had already learned how to play that way, so it was too late.”

Not surprisingly, as a black man playing blues rock on an upside-down guitar, Gales draws Hendrix comparisons galore. “When I sit back and look at some of the performances I’ve done, I have to admit: Yeah, it does kind of have a small resemblance, a little bit,” he acquiesces. “But I’m not out there just doing stuff that I hear or see Hendrix do. I’m doing what I feel, that comes out of me.”

Various songs on Relentless draw inspiration from recent tribulations in Gales’ life: Last year, he was released from prison after serving 21 months for a 2006 cocaine and weapons possession charge. The song “When You’ve Got No Place to Go” refers directly to his incarceration: “A lot of time for regret/Too much time to think/A lot of time for worry/How much lower can I sink?/I’ve been away too long/Every day is the same old song/The days go by so slow when you’ve got no place to go.”

Gales, who was allowed to play gigs in the outside world with a prison band during his sentence, doesn’t regret any of what’s gone down. “I’m not saying I want to relive it, but I believe that every situation in life gives you something to help you in the future,” muses the guitarist, who just completed work on a new record called Transformation, due for release in late 2011. “If there’s something to help me have more passion about what I do, or more expression when I’m doin’ what I’m doin’, then it all served its purpose.”

Eric Gales plays at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 18 at Don Quixote’s, 6275 Highway 9, Felton. Tickets are $12. For more information, call 603-2294 or go to

Comments (1)Add Comment
Best Live video so far this year we've done
written by Crafton, May 12, 2011
Here's a very proud rendition of "Got no place to go" from this years Hotwing Festival in Memphis. Thank you for such a decent article!!

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Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


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