Eric Gales returns with his latest offering The Bookends and it is an absolute beauty. Highly regarded by the best in the business, Gales swaggers his way across eleven banging tracks that ebb and flow beautifully, whilst taking their listener on an audible rollercoaster that just blows the mind.
Kicking off the album is a tasty intro that fuses Hendrix, Tom Morello and Joe Satriani in a whirlwind piece that demands the attention, right there and then you realise you’re not in Kansas anymore! The first full track on the album is relatively sedate compared to what’s to follow, luring you onto a false sense of security Gales throws out a funky little ditty that’s easy on the ear and beautifully delivered as always. ‘Whatcha Gon Do’ is where things get interesting, Gales starts to let loose with the solo work and unleashes a blistering tone with a WhaWha that just pulls at your heart-strings. Screaming it’s way across a classy solo and an outro to make the hairs stand o the back of your neck. There’s asomething for everyone here as Gales showcases his range across the length and breadth of The Bookends.
Gales brings along a few of his friends along for the ride, Doyle Bramhall II, B.Slade and Beth Hart to sprinkle a little additional magic on their chosen tracks, as if Gales majestic playing and delivery weren’t enough? The solo work on the likes of ‘Southpaw Serenade’ just blows the mind, with Gales and DB interchanging licks. It’s a marvel for any young players out there to relish and embrace how the old guard still mix it up like the best of them.
It would be very easy for an established artist to get stale and not challenge himself or herself musically, not here. Gales has reached deep within and pulled out a savage side with a collection of intriguing songs, which pull on a number of influences. You get nuances of artists from Hendrix to Prince and beyond in the song writing, add in his brutal attacking guitar playing into the mix and you have a melting pot that is just too good to ignore.
An audible rollercoaster, The Bookends delivers on all fronts. If you’re searching for something that isn’t your usual cookie cutter, going through the motions Blues album then this is for you. Stunning from start to finish
The Bookends is released Feb 8th via Provogue/Mascot Label Group.
Something’s Gotta Give (feat. B. Slade)
3. Watcha Gon’ Do
4. It Just Beez That Way
5. How Do I Get You
6. Southpaw Serenade (feat. Doyle Bramhall II)
7. Reaching For A Change
8. Somebody Lied
9. With A Little Help From My Friend (feat. Beth Hart)
11. Pedal To The Metal (feat. B. Slade) [Bonus Track]
“One of the best, if not the best guitar player in the world” Joe Bonamassa
“He is absolutely incredible” Carlos Santana
“How Eric Gales isn’t the hugest name in rock guitar is a total mystery” Dave Navarro
“This guy could be the best player on Earth” Mark Tremonti