Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
There is nothing Middle of the Road about Eric Gales, if anything the music is a highway, an expressway with only the best eateries along the way, the dust cleaned and given to flights of fancy instead of dirt in the eyes and the speedometer happily cruising just above the limit; after all if you are going to break hearts with your music, you may as well break a few rules also.
Eric Gales takes the Blues and fashions each bar into a smile awash with a sense of musical misdemeanour attached to them, the unexpected grin in a wind designed to make the bones ache, the laughter of anarchy in the realm of the forgotten; it is in this, this anarchic fight that the Blues simply Rocks out and pokes its tongue down the Devil’s throat.
That is not to say there is any lack of respect in the album, that there is no deference to a higher majesty than the fingers that pluck the strings of the guitar as if touching a rare velvet antique handkerchief, one with an embroidered lover’s name discretely and fashionably placed in the corner, instead the deference belongs squarely to the listener. The musician understanding that Blues for a long time had become almost in the minds of many, a dream that perhaps was dying of bloated arrogance but since the turn of the century had been given a fresh pair of lungs and new eyes in which to convey the feeling of pure enjoyment.
In tracks such as Change In Me, Carry Yourself, I’ve Been Deceived, the excellent repetition and Swamp, Eric Gales only shows the deep dirty mood when the time calls for it, these is no middle of the road, this is not ordinary, it is a cycle of art captured in five bar Blues and a demeanour of effortless poise.
Why be Middle of the Road, just enjoy the ride, after all Blues can take you all the way home comfortably when it has such a magician at its helm.
Eric Gales’ Middle of the Road is released on February 24th.
Ian D. Hall