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Eric Gales "Transformation"
One look inside the cover of Eric Gales new release "Transformation" is all anyone really needs, to figure out that the love of playing Guitar runs deep with him. He carries his Guitar as if it is more an appendage then a musical instrument and his left hand seems to have a tattoo of a Guitar pick on it and the ring he is wearing looks like it represents a fretboard, and although it may look like he was born with a Guitar in his hand, it actually wasn't that long after his birth that the Guitar and Eric became close friends. Eric started learning to play guitar at the age of 4 from his two brothers, Eugene and Manuel. Not only did Eric learn how to play Guitar, he also learned how to play it the way his brothers and before them his Grandfather Dempsey Garrett Sr. played Guitar, and that was in the style of upside down and left handed, just like Jimi Hendrix. The comparison to Jimi Hendrix was probably inevitable, as he was often billed as the second coming of Hendrix, with a couple of his albums being referred to as seeming "like facsimile Hendrix albums, right down to the album art ." In 2008, with the release of "The Story of My Life", Eric gales started to break away from Hendrix's shadow, breaking out with a style clearly more his own. "Transformation" is Eric Gales 3rd release since "The Story of My Life", and marks yet another exciting continuation of this phenomenal Guitarist.
"Transformation" consists of 12 Tracks of Power Packed Straight Ahead Blues Rock, with all the songs being written by Eric Gales and Mike Varney. Mike Varney, whom founded Shrapnel Records, which also led to the formation of Blues Bureau International, where most of Eric's releases have come from, has not only co-written with Eric on many of his albums, but has also co-produced many, as well, including "Transformation". In addition to Eric Gales, (Guitar & Lead Vocals), he is joined by Aaron Haggerty (Drums), and Steve Evans (Bass), which yet again offers up another fabulous Power Trio.
The music on "Transformation" is pretty well full steam ahead no nonsense Guitar Driven Blues Rock, for at least the first 8 Tracks and then Eric Gales and the rest of the band take a few interesting, turns first with Track 9, “Sometimes Wrong Feels Right” where he slows it right down and as one other reviewer noted, he is basically paying "homage to heroes B.B. King, Stevie Ray and Jimi Hendrix".  “Sometimes Wrong Feels Right” is a great Track and well worth the price of admission, on it's own. The 2nd interesting Track comes right away with Track 10 "Sea Of Bad Blood". "Sea Of Bad Blood", hits us with a nice little Funky Feel, which not only lets the Drums soars, but also lets the Bass strutt it stuff. Before amping it up, for the last Track, Eric Gales offers up what is one of my favorite Tracks on "Transformation" called "Too Late To Cry", which reminded me a bit of Joe Satriani. Another one of my Favorite Tracks was Track 4 "I Pity The Fool", which I couldn't help but notice had a few bars that were very reminenscent of the Lenny Kravitz song "Are You Going To Go My Way".
All in all "Transformation" is not doubt going to continue shooting Eric Gales into the Guitar Wizard Stratosphere and although comparisons may still be made to other great Guitarist, it really should be the other way around, as Eric Gales style it truly becoming a style all his own, which by all accounts is a true Transformation.
As far as Guitar Driven Blues Rock is concerned, you won't find a heck of a lot better albums then this one. Highly Recommended and Thoroughly Enjoyed.
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
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