Eric Gales picked up the guitar at just four. His older siblings Eugene and Manuel taught him songs when he was young, in the style of Jimi Hendrix, Albert King and the incredible BB King. In 1985 the young Gales began playing in blues, competing with his big bro Eugene backing him on bass. Playing a right-handed guitar upside down Gales isn’t naturally left-handed; he was just taught by a brother who was. This somehow seeded this untraditional technique that had Gales playing outside the box.
Gales isn’t necessarily a traditionalist. He says he’s inspired by everything.
‘I am inspired by everything,’ says Gales. ‘A huge list of things that I consider inspirational for me. Other people’s music… As far as that goes nowadays it’s a little bit of everything. A little bit of hip-hop, little bit of rock, pop, country, jazz. A little bit of everything.’
It’s been a relentless schedule for Gales, who has been touring relentlessly.
‘I’ve been everywhere,’ he says. ‘Spreading love, the energy and passion, emotion and inspiration. No sense in stopping now. I’m going to keep moving forward. Next year looks really good and eventually we’ll start writing for a new record.’
Gales’s most recent recording Middle of the Road deals with a lot of his personal journey.
‘I felt that I had to do it for me,’ says Gales. ‘Honestly, I think it turned out great. The momentum is very, very popping out right now. It’s doing really well and I am just continuing to capitalise on it.’ The album was something of a change or direction for Gales, who used this album to express some of his story.
To hear more of Gales, catch him at Bluesfest 2018.
Tix and program info at bluesfest.com.au