Eric Gales crafts blues of various hue on emotive Crown album

Blues survivor Eric Gales takes a title shot with masterful Joe Bonamassa-produced album Crown

Eric Gales - Crown cover art
(Image: © Provogue/Mascot)

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Eric Gales has spoken of sharing a “brotherhood” with Joe Bonamassa dating back to the 90s, when both were fêted as teenage blues prodigies. Gales’s path took a darker turn, with substance issues leading to jail time in 2009. 

The two reconnected in 2019, after Gales achieved sobriety in 2016, and Bonamassa agreed to produce this album, with the stated intention of helping Gales claim the titular crown of a reigning blues heavyweight. 

As the two unleash a fret-scorching guitar duel on the infectiously funky I Want My Crown, it’s clear Gales is equal to the task. His charismatic vocals channel heartfelt musings on racism and sobriety, over well-crafted songs in varied hues of blue. 

His masterful combination of feel and technique reaches frequent peaks, with rousing, Jimi Hendrix-inspired rocker Death Of Me and slow burner I Found Her showcasing his fluid, emotive playing at its best.