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Eric Gales Interview 2010

Eric Gales St. Blues Guitar Sept. 17, 2010
"Relentless" is Eric Gales' latest release on Shrapnel Records. And relentless is just what his guitar playing is all about.

photo by: Chris M. Junior

He picked up the guitar at the age of 4 and never put it down except to learn other instruments as well. Gales has shared the stage, soloing toe to toe with the late Shawn Lane, Eric Johnson and many others, and he has several solo albums to his credit.

Still surprisingly, many people don't know about Eric Gales. Perhaps part of it is having the name "Eric" which similar to "Steve" represents a positioning traffic jam of guitar iconery-- not to mention confusions with the late jazz guitarist Eric Gale no "S"! Life's road as also been rough at times, but people who know their guitar players are usually hip to Eric Gales.

Eric was gracious enough to give us an interview recently. And I'm very proud to feature it here at Stratoblogster! Special thank you's to Jason and the Gales' team for helping this interview happen!

Please check the links below this interview to keep up on Eric Gales and what's up ahead!


Stratoblogster: Hi Eric! Thank you for this opportunity! I'm glad to
hear about the new release, and that things are going well for you.

Growing up in a family of musicians must have been great! And I know
you started playing at a very young age. When did you realize that
being a musician would be your main pursuit in life?

Eric Gales: The minute I picked up the guitar, which was at about four years old, I knew that's what I wanted to do. There was no question in my mind.

Stratoblogster: Lefty upside-down guitarists usually have a very cool
vibrato. Do you see any other advantages to playing this way, and
would you recommend this approach to beginners for any reasons?

Eric Gales: The funny thing is, most everything I learned was from someone right handed. It does afford me the ability to strum with different approaches. It also allows me to place open notes, but the vibrato came from insight. I do not necessary suggest new players play one way or another, just whatever feels most comfortable for them.

Stratoblogster: Besides Hendrix, who are a few other guitar players
that inspire you?

Eric Gales: Eric Johnson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Robin Trower, John Mayer, Albert King, Muddy Waters, Joe Bonamassa. Some from the church. Really a whole bucket of players.

Stratoblogster: I've seen you play bass on Youtube. Do you play any
other instruments?

Eric Gales: As a matter of fact, yes. I can play sax, piano, pretty much anything I put my mind to. God gave me a wonderful musical ability that I am very much thankful for.

Stratoblogster: Speaking of Youtube-- Nice job at the *Taku Sakashta benefit gig! How do you feel that show went? Were you well received?

Eric Gales: That show was GREAT! If you listen to the show, there is a piece where I got choked up, I was really feeling it at that point. I believe the crowd felt it too because they gave me, what felt like, a 5-10 minute standing ovation. I was very pleased with my performance.

Stratoblogster: Was that gig also an opportunity to test your new Two
Rock gear in a larger space?

Eric Gales: Yes sir! It was fantastic. I've heard they are getting rave reviews on the Internet.

Stratoblogster: It looks like both Two Rock Amps and St. Blues Guitars really work
with you on dialing in the gear. Do you have similar relationships
with any pedal builders out there? Any favorite pedals you're using

Eric Gales: Mainly Dunlop, been working with Jimmy and his father for many years. I love their phasers and wah wah's. I have several other toys as well.

Stratoblogster: Any special guitar set-up you prefer? Big frets? High
action? Lot's of trem float?

Eric Gales: Trem is about half step pull back with the whammy bar, action low without fret. I use 10-46 gauge strings.

Stratoblogster: Besides your St. Blues guitars, what are some guitars
you've owned over the years that really stand out?

Eric Gales: Ernie Ball, Fender, Stratocaster. A lot have come through my hands over the years, but I've always been the most comfortable with St. Blues guitars.

Stratoblogster: Many hot guitarists land gigs playing with big name
artists, such as Steve Morse with Deep Purple, Philip Sayce with
Melissa Etheridge, Doug Rappoport with Edgar Winter, etc. Besides your
own solo projects, would you ever consider this sort of gig if the
opportunity presented itself and the chemistry felt right?

Eric Gales: Yes. Absolutely.

Stratoblogster: What's in your iPod right now that you're really
getting into currently?

Eric Gales: John Mayer, Prince, Beyonce, TI, D'Angelo, Lil' Wayne, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Trey Songs, Jeff Beck, Derek Trucks, Joe Bonamassa, and countless gospel artists.

Stratoblogster: If a magic genie or an angel appeared and gave you the
choice of picking any 3 musicians living or dead for your own perfect
rhythm section, who would you choose?

Eric Gales: Jaco Pastorius on bass, Eric Johnson, Stokely from Mint Condition.

Stratoblogster: Of all the artists you admire that you've had a chance
to meet, who are a couple of the coolest ones?

Eric Gales: Robert Randolph, Eric Johnson, Mitch Mitchell, Buddy Miles. Really everyone I meet is always cool.

Stratoblogster: Any thoughts about the future of guitar in this
country? Scott Henderson never tours the US. Are you better received
overseas than in America? Who are the coolest people you've ever
performed for?

Eric Gales: Brazil has to be by far the coolest. I loved every minute of it. It is often times harder for people in America to appreciate music, but I love my state-side fans and they always show me much love. I think John Mayer has really kicked the door open for guitarists. He has helped bring the younger generation's attention back to guitar. He has helped them understand Stevie Ray Vaughan, which makes them look back and have a greater appreciation for what we do.

Stratoblogster: Thank you so much for your time! BTW, our friend BobbyDeVito, a huge fan of yours says Hello! Bobby opened for you at a gig
at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center back in '91. Bobby went
through the recovery thing, and recently released a book entitled
"BURNED - Living Through the 80s and 90s as a Rock Guitarist". He's
doing well and still gigs regularly down in FLA.

Eric Gales: Bobby D has gone out of his way numerous times to help the cause. We pulled him on board to help us with booking and promotion!!

Stratoblogster: Thank you again, and all the best with Relentless! I'm diggin' it, and
plugging it at the blog.

Eric Gales: Thank you.



*Note: Taku Sakashta was a brilliant guitar maker who was senselessly murdered in early 2010.


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