Review ERIC GALES ‘Crown’

Blues, funk and rock, it all comes together on ‘Crown’, the new album by blues guitarist Eric Gales. The 57-year-old musician began playing guitar at the age of four and since then the passion for music and guitar has not let him go.

The list of releases is long. In 1991, the solo debut ‘The Eric Gales Band’ was released and numerous albums followed. Countless projects were added, before it is now time again to welcome a new solo record of the exceptional artist.

‘Crown’ is the title of the new disc, which was produced by none other than Joe Bonamassa, together with Josh Smith. The album includes 16 songs of which some tracks, like ‘Had to Dip’, stay under a minute. These short instrumental pieces are anything but filler though. Rather, they are little jam sessions that add an extra spice to the album. All together ‘Crown’ delivers with 65 minutes an impressive playing time and provides not only quantity, but also a lot of quality.

Listen for example to ‘I Want My Crown’, a funky track which has already been issued as a single. Bonamassa is also to be heard on the song, whereby the tune also documents the friendship of the two for years, as Bonamassa was support for Gales at the beginning of the 90s. Even if the life stories of the two exceptional artists went completely different ways, their connection outlasted all obstacles. Even Gales drug addiction and other trouble could not change this.

Gales releases with ‘Crown’ a very personal album. It is a new era of sobriety, which gives the guitarist the strength and creativity that can be experienced in each note played. In addition, feelings play an important role, emotions that are reflected in the wonderful ‘Stand Up’. Influenced by the death of George Floyd, the tunes on ‘Crown’ were created, documenting the personal struggles and experiences of a black man, supported by melodies and music that make the story even more striking. Songs like the very bluesy ‘Survivor’ speak a clear language. Overall, the new album is characterized by empathy and that is what is so important along with authenticity.

Another song I would like to highlight is ‘Take Me Just As I Am’, not only because of the lyrical statement. Rather it is the fantastic voice of LaDonna Gales, which blends with Gales vocals to create a moving song. It gets calmer with ‘I Found Her’, which makes it obvious that ‘Crown’ is an album that has a common thread, but impresses with musical diversity and shades.

‘Crown’ is an album you enjoy listening to. It offers so many nuances and details that a lasting listening delight is guaranteed. It is a longplayer that asks for time to unfold its grandness and is therefore a beautiful antithesis to a fast-moving time that has lost momentum due to a pandemic. This album reflects on the essentials and many of us have learned that over the past months as well. It is about what really matters in life, and that is to follow your own intuition and your own dreams … and ‘Crown’ is the soundtrack for it.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Death of Me
  2. The Storm
  3. Had to Dip
  4. I Want My Crown (feat. Joe Bonamassa)
  5. Stand Up
  6. Survivor
  7. You Don’ Know the Blues
  8. Rattlin’ Change
  9. Too Close to the Fire
  10. Put That Back
  11. Take Me Just As I Am (feat. LaDonna Gales)
  12. Cupcakin’
  13. Let Me Start With This
  14. I Found Her
  15. My Own Best Friend
  16. I Gotta Go

Label: Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group

Genre: Blues/Rock

Release Date EU: January 28th, 2022

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