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Since he was anointed the ‘next great bluesman’ while still a teenager, things have been far from smooth sailing for Eric Gales. At one point, it seemed as though drug and legal problems would derail his career but in 2017, he returned in stunning form, reminding listeners everywhere that he remains one of the most devastating blues guitarists on the planet. Now, refreshed and reinvigorated, Gales has decided it’s time to show the world how broad his horizons can be…
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Eric Gales has something he’d like to get off his chest. “I’m going to say something for the record,” the 44-year-old exclaims. “I have been labelled as a blues-guitar player, or a blues-rock guitar player… I am a whole lot more than that.” It’s a concept that the Memphis-born guitarist returns to again and again over the course of our conversation, his passion and conviction evident even down a crackly phone line from his recently snowed-in North Carolina home.

And to be honest, who could blame him? Gales supported Santana at Woodstock ’94 at the age of 20, he’s been releasing albums for very nearly 30 years now, and along the way he’s battled addiction and spent time in jail. If after all he’s done and all he’s been through, people are still trying to pigeonhole him as just a blues guitarist, it’s understandable that he’d want to set them straight once and for all. “There are more vantage points to me than just being a blues guy,” Gales continues. “During my show, there might be one song that you’d class as a hardcore, I-IV-V blues thing, but other than that… Yes, you hear the blues inluence in everything that I do, because that’s what I am at my core, but there are inluences, inspirations and other styles that I also like to visit. Blues, funk, rock, pop… all of it will entail things that are part of me. So it’s dificult for me to say what kind of guitar player I am, because I like everything from gospel to funk to classical to jazz.”

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