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Gales, Eric: Crystal Vision

"2006 brings a new state of mind for guitar great Eric Gales with his new release Crystal Vision" so states the intro line to the bio accompanying his latest release on Blues Bureau Records. One thing is abundantly "clear", the immense talent is still there so let's hope this new release, label and state of mind bring some uplift to what most would agree has been an underachieving career thus far; at the very least in terms of quantity of product produced. On this, his first release since 2001's That's What I Am, Eric proves once again that he is one of the very few, perhaps along with talents like Frank Marino and Joe Bonamassa possessing the vocal/six string chop combination to convincingly deal out these gut wrenching hard edged psychedelic blues rock extravaganzas. From the Albert King influenced "Freedom From My Demons" to the furious wailing on tracks like "Retribution" and "Plastic Man" and also on the stylistically surprising fiery fusion instrumental "Old Schoo"l, Eric displays the uncanny ability to conjure up the appropriate spirit and tone to tear your head off. Heck there is even a quality ballad on this one, "That's Just How It Is", featuring Eric's underrated warm vocal talents. Of all the renowned left-handed upside down six string sons of Albert King (Eric, Doyle Bramhall II, Coco Montoya) I always thought Eric was the most gifted and simply stated most amazing from a technical guitar playing perspective. This latest release "clearly" drives that point home and also demonstrates his considerable songwriting skills. Eric wrote all the tunes on all this release, most in conjunction with Mike Varney, with the exception of the excellent cover version of Joe South's Hush. I look forward to more of the same from Eric in the future! If you enjoy passionate hard edged blues rock you will love this one.

Track Listing
1. Retribution
2. Are You My Friend?
3. I Got Me A Woman
4. I Don't Want You Hangin' Around
5. Freedom From My Demons
6. Trouble
7. Crystal Vision
8. Hush
9. Me And My Guitar
10. Plastic Girl
11. Old School
12. That's Just How It Is

Added: February 17th 2006
Reviewer: Mike Blackburn
Related Link: Shrapnel Records
Hits: 2382
Language: english

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