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All hail king Eric!

“My name is Eric Gales. Any Questions?” boasts the spoken-word introduction. Far from being braggadocio, after a 30-year career, Gales needs no introduction and certainly has nothing to prove. But the intro also has rings of a group therapy meeting and sets the tone that this is a cathartic, no BS, cards on the table album.

Eric Gales has always worn his heart on his sleeve, but 'Crown', takes his candid songs to a new level. Personal, and political the album is beautifully poetic and brutally frank. Now celebrating five years of sobriety he approaches this work with clarity and passion that has only been hinted at before. On 'Crown', Gales is truly at one with himself and his guitar, and the results are effortless and inspiring.

Under the eye of producers Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith, 'Crown' has a retro vibe, channeling the Memphis sound, and still confronting the same societal issues as seminal albums 'What's Going On?' as Gales points out, some things change and some things stay the same: this album advocates change on a human level. 'Stand Up' is a wonderful soulful deflection of violence and a powerful protest song. While 'Too Close to the Fire' is Gales asking for allies while delivering some truths. His guitar work on this album is outstandingly expressive. 'I Want My Crown' is a fun guitar battle royale with Joe Bonamassa – but we'll leave it up to you to decide who can sit on the throne.

"The album is beautifully poetic and brutally frank. "

Then tucked away at the end of the album there's the stunning chanson 'I Found Her'. On this paean to his wife, and Queen, LaDonna, (who also duets on 'Take Me Just As I Am') Gales puts on a superb display of his acoustic and electric guitar skills.

Whether confronting racism, the demon of addiction, joys of sobriety, or the love for his wife, Eric Gales has opened his heart to us lyrically and musically like never before. One question Mr Gales – when's your coronation?


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