Eric Gales continues to build career momentum in a new chapter that began in 2010 after some personal setbacks and dues-paying.
Remember dues-paying? It’s that key staple of all legendary blues, rock and jazz artists; the stuff that sells biographies, of which there seem to be so many these days.
The youngest of four guitar-playing brothers, all of whom play lefty and upside-down, Eric was a fretboard monster early on, raised on a healthy diet of Jimi Hendrix via his older siblings. Before the mainstream successes of Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joe Bonamassa, Derek Trucks, Jonny Lang, John Mayer and others of his generation, Gales, aka “Raw Dog,” was jamming with gods like Shawn Lane and Carlos Santana and getting interviewed by Arsenio Hall.
Along with eldest brother, Eugene Gales, Eric has recorded several albums on major labels. The last few albums with Shrapnel include two comeback releases from 2010 and 2011, Relentless and Transformation.
Recent Euro tours include a side gig with Lauryn Hill along with bassist Doug Wimbish, as well as solo tours with T.M. Stevens joining on bass. In March (very soon), Eric will rejoin the Experience Hendrix Tour, sharing the stage with a sizeable guitar who’s-who including Eric Johnson, Dweezil Zappa, Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Brad Whitford and the list goes on. Gales did this gig a few years ago, sharing some memorable duets with Eric Johnson.
Gear-wise, Gales has a signature amp series with Two-Rock Amplification (Serious!), a limited-run signed Xotic EWS Brute Drive pedal, some plugs for Dunlop and a new endorsement with Magneto Guitars, who recently built him a gold “Raw Dog Custom” based on their Strat-type Sonnet model.
YouTube has lots of fresh Gales clips from the 2012 Winter NAMM show, and also some very new stuff from the Guitar Slinger’s Ball in Corona, California, which the video below came from.
Although sometimes compared with Eric Johnson, Gales’ rock style is usually much edgier, though ironically, he has an amazing vocabulary with jazz chord changes when playing clean. And he continues to grow and evolve musically -- far from ready to turn in his own rock star biography.
People attending the upcoming spring 2012 Experience Hendrix shows will get a fresh look at the Raw Dog in action amongst a stellar guitar lineup!
JP Holesworth authors the Stratoblogster Guitar Blog and resides in rural Oregon, surrounded by Pinot Noir vineyards, hop plantations, medical MJ farms and extreme environMENTAL consciousness. But he loves red meat and vacuum tubes!