Eric Gales lights a fire under the blues shuffle form on explosive new single, You Don't Know The Blues

Eric Gales performs at the Neighborhood Theatre on June 11, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina
(Image credit: Jeff Hahne/Getty Images)

Back in October, Eric Gales announced his new album, Crown, with a bang, duking it out with Joe Bonamassa on the dual blues guitar workout lead single, I Want My Crown.

Now, the second single from Crown – a long-awaited effort produced by Bonamassa and Josh Smith – has been unveiled in the form of the equally incendiary You Don't Know The Blues.

Gales is a master at taking well-trodden musical territory (the most oft-covered blues-rock standards of the '60s and '70s, for instance) and taking it to another plane entirely with his playing, and You Don't Know The Blues – structurally a simple blues shuffle – is no different.

Beginning with a dramatic slide, Gales takes flight after the second chorus, unleashing a minute-plus solo that's got just about everything. It dazzles with its speed, and stings with its vibrato and the painful experiences it vividly shares, before landing right back home for the third verse without missing a beat.

It's masterful stuff, and you can check it out for yourself below.

The lyrics of You Don't Know The Blues find Gales examining his past struggles with unflinching honesty, an approach he utilizes throughout Crown.

“They’re about my life, and what’s happening in the world right now," Gales said of the songs on Crown. "When it came time to sing, I had to take breaks between vocals to cry and let it out. I was sharing my experiences as a Black man, and my private struggles. This is me letting the world know what I’ve been through.”

Crown is set for a January 28 release via Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group.

To preorder the album, stop by Gales's website.

Eric Gales Crown album cover

(Image credit: Eric Gales)

Eric Gales – Crown:

  1. Death of Me
  2. The Storm
  3. Had to Dip
  4. I Want My Crown (ft. Joe Bonamassa)
  5. Stand Up
  6. Survivor
  7. You Don't Know The Blues
  8. Rattlin' Change
  9. Too Close To The Fire
  10. Put That Back
  11. Take Me Just As I Am (ft. LaDonna Gales)
  12. Cupcakin'
  13. Let Me Start With This
  14. I Found Her
  15. My Own Best Friend
  16. I Gotta Go

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.