US guitarist Eric Gales in Worthing

Following the release of his new album Middle of the Road, US guitarist Eric Gales returns to the UK for an eight-date tour taking in Worthing Pier South Pavilion on Saturday, May 27.

2017 Eric Gales by Nicole Weingart
2017 Eric Gales by Nicole Weingart

The album was released on February 24 and received rave reviews from Classic Rock, Powerplay, Fireworks, Blues Matters, Blues in Britain, Total Guitar, Guitar & Bass and Guitarist magazine among others.

Eric, who counts among his influences Jimi Hendrix, Muddy Waters, Albert King, John Lee Hooker and Stevie Ray, said: “This album is opening so many doors for me right now – coming to play in the UK for the first time among other stuff.

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“I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful and proud I am. It’s hands-down the best record I've ever made and it really represents the positive place I’m at in my life.”

As he says, it is a very personal record.

“I used personal experience as inspiration when writing it. For example, Carry Yourself is about my wife LaDonna. It’s about how we met and how we grew to get to know each other through life and how she’s always carried herself. It has always been something I’m fascinated with.

“And Change in Me pretty much explains itself, right? I changed up some things in life and decided to go a new route. This for me right now is a new direction in life.”

Consequently, he is now the happiest he has been during his career.

“Being in The Middle Of The Road is a good place for me to be in and things are going really well. I honestly couldn’t be happier with where I’m at right now.”

Adding to that is the UK tour.

“This is the first time I will be over here in a solo capacity. So you bet that I’m excited! I’m so excited to finally be over here doing my own thing and sharing my music with you guys!”

Has he noticed a different kind of reaction to the new album from UK fans as opposed to US fans?

“No, not really, man. I honestly feel it’s been a very similar reaction across the board. I get a lot of positive feedback on Facebook, it’s non-stop! Just come out and have fun with us… We’re going be rocking the house! I’m really looking forward to it and I hope you guys are as well, man.”

Middle of the Road is Eric’s fourth album on Provogue/Mascot label Group and sees him at his most expressive yet.

“I feel the most free I've ever been in life, even more so than when I was a gotta help yourself, man. Once you can help yourself you can genuinely help someone else.”

Eric was a child prodigy and heralded as the second coming of Jimi Hendrix when he released his debut album The Eric Gales Band in 1991 as a 16-year-old on Elektra Records. It was the first of ten albums on a major label.

In 2009 he spent time in the Shelby County Correction Center for possession of drugs and a weapon.

“While I was in there all the officers and guards were like 'Bro you know this isn't where you're supposed to be. When you get out of here, go take the world by the horns and ride it all the way out.' It took a couple of years after but, I'm here.”

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