Thursday, July 30

Videos from Purgatory #22: Eric Gales Band - Sign of the Storm

Another group that came on the scene in 1991 (Sliding in the Window After Living Colour, Before it was slammed shut by Nirvana) was that of then 16 year-old Guitar Wunderkind - Eric Gales Band. You ever hear a guitarist for the first time and it feels like you just got hit with a 2-by-4 across the forehead?

Yeah, Eric's like dat.

Sign of the Storm

The lead singing and bass work was handled by Eric's older brother Eugene, but as they put out their second CD Eric began to take on more of the vocals himself, as shown during this performance I converted from VHS and uploaded myself from the Arsenio Hall Show.

After doing an all blues album with his brothers Eugene and Little Jimmy King, Eric eventually went solo in 2001 with That's What I Am, despite his obvious chops the industry has pretty much relegated him into the dustbin of "Hendrix Wannabe" and largely ignored him. Just read this from the primary guide for Music Distributors.

A newly matured Gales returned in spring 2001 to release his debut for MCA, That's What I Am. Often billed as the second coming of Jimi Hendrix, Gales, an adequate singer at best but a dynamite guitarist, suffered for the comparison. Always influenced by Hendrix and the power trio format, Gales' next albums, 2006's Crystal Vision and 2007's Psychedelic Underground, both released by Blues Bureau Records, seemed like facsimile Hendrix albums, right down to the album art. His next two releases from Blues Bureau, 2008's The Story of My Life and 2009's Layin' Down the Blues, found the Hendrix influence muted somewhat, but Gales, a breathtaking guitarist at times, still seemed to be looking for a way out of the Hendrix shadow and into his own voice.

I'll be honest, Eric Never sounded like Hendrix to me - he always HAD his own unique sound and unique voice even when he was 16. Apparently some people simply couldn't hear it, and preferred to just stick him the most convenient stereotypical box (Lefty Guitar Guy with Dark Skin = HENDRIX!) and that's really a shame. I rarely saw anyone do that to Stevie Ray Vaughn and he really did sound like Hendrix - On Purpose. They even do it to Prince, and Price himself points out that he actually plays a lot more like Santana. In the meanwhile Eric's fallen on hard times, including service some jail time drugs & weapons charges. Kinda pathetic, kinda sad, but par for the course in Electric Purgatory.


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