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Gales performing in the United States, 2011
October 29, 1974|
Memphis, Tennessee, United States
|Genres||Blues-rock, hard rock, blues, heavy metal|
|Labels||Cleopatra Blues, a division of Cleopatra Records, Elektra, House of Blues, MCA, Shrapnel, Blues Bureau International, Provogue Records|
|Website||Eric Gales Band.com|
Eric Gales (born October 29, 1974), also known as Raw Dawg, is an American blues-rock guitarist, originally hailed as a child prodigy. As of 2018 Gales has recorded seventeen albums for major record labels and has done session and tribute work. He has also contributed vocals on several records by the Memphis rap groups Prophet Posse and Three 6 Mafia under the name Lil E.
Gales picked up the guitar at age four. His older siblings, Eugene and Manuel (Little Jimmy King), taught him songs and licks when he was young, in the style of Jimi Hendrix, Albert King, B.B. King and others. In 1985, the young Gales began to play at blues competitions with his brother Eugene backing him on bass. Although Gales plays a right-handed guitar "upside-down" (with the bass E string on the bottom), he is not naturally left-handed; he was taught by his brother, who is left-handed, and never second-guessed the untraditional technique.
In late 1990, Eric and Eugene Gales signed with Elektra Records, and together with the drummer Hubert Crawford released The Eric Gales Band (1991) and Picture of a Thousand Faces (1993). Guitar World magazine's Reader's Poll named Eric the "Best New Talent", in 1991. During this time he had two rock radio hits, "Sign of the Storm" (number 9, U.S. Mainstream Rock) and "Paralyzed" (number 31, U.S. Mainstream Rock) and had spots on television programs such as The Arsenio Hall Show.
In 1994, Gales performed with Carlos Santana at Woodstock '94. In 1995, Gales teamed up with both of his brothers to record an album, Left Hand Brand (released in 1996), as the Gales Brothers. In 2001 Gales released his album That's What I Am on MCA Records.
Gales has released the albums Crystal Vision, The Psychedelic Underground,The Story of My Life and Layin' Down the Blues on the Shrapnel Records label. Relentless (2010) was followed by Transformation (2011) and Live (2012).
He maintains a strong friendship with the record producer Mike Varney.
Gales has two daughters, Jasmine Gales (born 1992) and stepdaughter LaAsia Chandler (born 1996) and is married to LaDonna Gales, from Greensboro, North Carolina.
In 2004, he contributed a cover of "May This Be Love" to the album Power of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix. In 2008, he and other guitarists participated in the touring tribute to Jimi Hendrix, Experience Hendrix. The touring group of musicians included Billy Cox, Eric Johnson, Chris Layton, Doyle Bramhall II, Brad Whitford and Mitch Mitchell (it was the last tour that Mitchell played on).
In the winter of 2010, Gales returned to the touring circuit in Europe with TM Stevens on bass guitar and Keith LeBlanc on drums. The tour was billed as VooDoo Chile and featured works of Jimi Hendrix as well as original material from both Gales and Stevens.
In February 2013, Magna Carta Records released the album Pinnick Gales Pridgen, produced by Mike Varney and featuring Gales on guitar and vocals, Doug Pinnick on bass and vocals, and Thomas Pridgen on drums. The 13-track album featured one cover song, "Sunshine of Your Love", originally by Cream, one short instrumental based on Ludwig van Beethoven's "Für Elise", and the remaining songs written by some combination of Pinnick, Gales, Pridgen and Varney. The follow-up album, PGP2, was released in July 2014.
In 2017, Gales released his latest and fifteenth studio effort, Middle of the Road, featuring numerous artists, including Gary Clark Jr., Lauryn Hill and others, as well as his own brother and mother. The album became his first to chart on 'Billboards Top Blues Album chart, peaking at No. 4.
Gales also performed on the following albums: