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BLUES PLAYER

"I aspire to leave a legacy in this world like Jimmi Hendrix has done, and continues to do." - Eric Gales

Posted: May 22, 2024
You must have the drive to not give up. There’s more out there waiting for me and there only way I can see that is to not give up. - Eric Gales

Photo by: Katrena Wize

The Core - If you're looking for the most essential part or the very center of something, you're looking for its core. Like the inedible middle of an apple or your inner circle of core friends.

In the late 14th century, the noun core came about from the Old French coeur, meaning “core of fruit” and more literally, “heart.” So, the core of something is its very heart, whether you're talking about the seed-containing center of a fruit, the central meaning of a book, or the core courses you need to take to graduate.

“When I play, the core is always the blues” – Eric Gale

Eric Gales is a blues firebrand. Over 30 years and 18 albums, his passion for the music and his boundless desire to keep it vital has never waned, even when his own light dimmed due to his substance struggles. Throughout it all, he continued to reinvigorate the art form with personal revelation in his lyrics and bold stylistic twists in his guitar playing and songwriting.

I have discovered a consistent message with many of the blues artists that I interview. The words passion, drive, emotion, and heart come up in conversation. I truly believe that these words have every bit to do with the songs that are produced by blues artists. Especially the great blues acts that lead or direct the flow of blues music in the industry.

I have read hundreds of bios. Most likely that is an underestimation of how many I have read. The BIO is at the center of describing accomplishment and inspiration. However, Eric Gale had something different to say. It was deep, and maybe a bit vulnerable. Make no mistake about it, Eric is not susceptible to hurt. Though, the core of what makes Eric Gales a great blues artist is his ability to convey truth. It is an art form that enables him to call upon experiences and accomplishment. I am a huge fan of Eric Gale. His ability to perform at a high level makes him uncomparable. He is in a class of his own. His recent release “Crown” reflects that.

INTERVIEW WITH ERIC GALE AND GUITAR THRILLS MAGAZINE

Guitar Thrills: Hi Eric. It is easy to say, that is it is a privilege to interview a blues artist of your caliber. With the number of years invested in the music industry, it is difficult to come up with questions that you have not answered before. However, we all have a different perspective on life as we grow older. Answers that seemed to be “on point” early on, may have changed.

Who were some of your influential blues acts as you were growing into a guitarist?

Eric: Albert King, Freddie King, B.B. King, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker.

Guitar Thrills: Besides their ability to perform. What was inspirational about the way they played, or the message that they delivered?

Eric: The energy, passion, and heart they put into their craft. 

Guitar Thrills: The media, public, etc. quantify music that reflects your best work. Do you rely upon the opinion of others to determine the quality of your music? 

Eric: Not at all.

Guitar Thrills: What album of yours reflects your best work to date, and why? 

Eric: All of them. They all represent moments in my life at the time that I tried to reflect through the record.

Guitar Thrills: During your career, did you ever think you would be one of the greatest blues artists that ever lived? 

Eric: No, not really, it was never something that I aspired for.

Guitar Thrills: What is at the “core” of your ability to perform the blues? 

Eric: Life. A lot of things I’ve been through in life.

Guitar Thrills: I couldn’t help but notice the reference to Jimmi Hendrix in your Bio. Do you compare yourself with Hendrix? To what degree, and please be specific. 

Eric: No, I don’t compare myself to him. He is one that I aspire to leave a legacy in this world like he has and continues to do. 

Guitar Thrills: I think it’s awesome. I enjoy hearing listening to an artist convey his/her confidence. Especially when it is valid. Do you feel at this point of your career a sense of entitlement

Eric: No.

Guitar Thrills: Getting to the point, you have overcome many things that would have given someone a valid reason to give up. What has enabled you to bounce back, with a sense of boldness and courage? Stepping back into the limelight would seem to bring a bit of panic of fear with it. Why is it different with Eric Gales?

Eric: The drive to not give up. There’s more out there waiting for me and there only way I can see that is to not give up.

Guitar Thrills: I applaud you for your accomplishments and your will to keep producing at a high level.

Guitar Thrills: How did you get involved with working with Joe Bonamassa? I don’t think that I have interviewed an artist that hasn’t worked with Joe Bonamassa. 😊

Eric: We’ve been friends for a long time. I saw that he produced Joanna Connor’s record and that put a lightbulb over my head to ask him about producing mine. The thought came across my mind to do something together in a big way. I think that was a grand way to do it. 

Guitar Thrills: Tell me about your recent release called “Crown”. What was behind the lyrics? 

Eric: Speaking to a lot of things that were going on during the pandemic and a lot of issues going on in the world that I felt the need to express through song and music. 

Guitar Thrills: Have you received feedback regarding Crown from your fans? How was it received thus far?

Eric: Yes, I have, and it’s all been received very well. People get the intent.

Guitar Thrills: Are you a guitar collector? If so, how many and which is your favorite make and model? 

Eric: Kind of. I have close to 70 guitars right now. My Magento is high on the list. 

Guitar Thrills: Do you add any additional gear to when you play guitar? Like pedals, etc. 

Eric: I do – wah-wah, distortion, 1021 delay, colossus fuzz, and of course my MXR Raw Dawg pedal. Couple other odds and ends.

Guitar Thrills: I often think about Eddie Van Halen. He was interviewed as saying, all the sounds you here come from me and the guitar I play. While your style and genre are different from his, you can tell that you put a lot of stress, on the guitar strings. 😊

Eric: I do, I do. Quite a bit. 

Guitar Thrills: I hope nothing but success for you moving forward. If there is anything we can do to help promote your music or concerts, etc. Let us know. If you ever make it to Florida, I will make sure to have front row seating. Thanks again for taking the time to interview with Guitar Thrills Magazine. 

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