Album of the Week – ‘Middle of the Road’ by Eric Gales
The album serves as the most reflective and express releases Gales has released to date. The guitar legend who spent his formative years growing up throughout the trials and tribulations of an unforgiving industry, has finally found the words and music to open up to his devoted global fanbase about his unique experience. Having been touted as child prodigy starting out with the immense weight of being touted as the next Jimi Hendrix on his shoulders, the pressure has many consequences; producing more than 20 albums, touring the globe, working with the best of the best, and serving time for possession of drugs and a weapon.
For many, such a successful and dangerous cocktail might have ended their career, but that’s where ‘Middle of the Road’ comes into play. As the musician himself puts it whilst discussing the album’s title, “It’s about being fully focussed and centred in the middle of the road. If you’re on the wrong side and in the gravel you’re not too good and if you’re on the median strip that’s not too good either, so being in the middle of the road is the best place to be.” The musicianship throughout the release is second to none, but more intriguing is its ‘diary-like’ lyricism. Rather than try and summaries such a personal experience, we thought we’d let Gales do the talking;
Help Me Let Go:
“I wrote that when I was in a place where i took some time to seek more about me. There was a councillor at the time that was involved with music therapy and we kinda wrote this song together sitting on a piano and acoustic guitar and the lyrics just started to flow out and it turned into a very beautiful piece. A lot of people in life don’t want to let things go of but if you do, that’s when you’ll be the most free that you’ll ever be in life, when you let go of what you’re holding on to.”
I Don’t Know:
“Some people are afraid to say I Don’t Know when you’re sitting trying to come up with the answers to sumthin’. If you don’t know, just say you don’t know, it’s a very simple point, if you ask me the question why ‘I don’t fear no man’, I just don’t know. It works for me. Fear is not something that should be, from when I was raised there’s just one to fear to be honest with you. There’s nothing wrong with saying I don’t know.”
“This is a favourite of mine… it’s basically a jam band church orientated sort of song. This type of style is basically what you would hear coming from our church every Sunday and when the spirit is high and you hear that kind of riff, that groove especially towards the ride out and people are dancing and shouting all over the place, it’s just amazing. I wanted to incorporate that kind of feel, they’re just jumping all over the place and they’re getting wild. It’s beautiful to see.”
“I was so happy to bring Eugene back in from the old days and Repetition was something that my brother wrote. I said I got this repetition sort of thing, an idea going. He wrote a story that fit well with my life and how it had been and how I was living my life. It’s about life as an insane repetition, especially when you’re being deceived. It was beautiful having him back, like the old days, we’d bounce stuff to each other and just go for it, and it was a very cool process. I always enjoy having Eugene as one of the people I collab with. It’s a beautiful thing you have family there and someone that’s been there since day one.”
I’ve Been Deceived:
“Personally, I was talking about how I was deceived by addiction…. at first it was cool, my friend, my homeboy, my homegirl, whatever you want to call it and then after a while it did me bad, really really really really bad….. in other perspectives, people that you’re with that think one thing but actually, it’s another, they’re being deceived too, the whole situation, it can be in a relationship, it doesn’t have to be addiction, it can be anything, someone living a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde lifestyle. Doing one thing and coming home telling you something else. I related to it directly and how I feel like, things in life deceive me and some people I allowed to deceive me because I was being deceived by addiction and so clouded up, that it didn’t really matter to me what happened to me. That’s why you hear the energy in that song, not necessarily anger, but you hear the intensity in me getting that point across.”
Collaborators include Lauryn Hill, Gary Clark Jr, Eugene Gales, LaDonna Gales, Lance Lopez, Raphael Saadiq and Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram.
01. Good Time
02. Change In Me (The Rebirth)
03. Carry Yourself
04. Boogie Man (feat. Gary Clark Jr.)
05. Been So Long
06. Help Yourself (feat. Christone “Kingfish”
07. I’ve Been Deceived
08. Repetition (feat. Eugene Gales)
09. Help Me Let Go
10. I Don’t Know
You can follow the band HERE . For an extended listen to the album, tune in on Thursday from 1.30PM – 2PM for ‘Album of the Week’ with Josh Crosbie. Don’t forget to also listen out for your opportunity to win a copy of ‘Eclecticism’ all week. You must be a supporter to win so make sure to sign up HERE. You can also stream the station HERE.