Eric Gales is back with another album and this one is a twist for him. With an all new group, the Eric Gales Trio brings us the instrumental album Ghost Notes. He has always been an amazing guitar player who can truly hook you into one of his solos as the notes pour off the fret board. With no lyrics this album lets him do what he does best and lets his guitar do the talking.
This album runs the gamut. There is the country style pickin’ of the opening track “Pickin’ & Ginnin’” to the appropriately titled “Just Funk.” Throw in the island sounds of “Cast Away” followed up by the pleasant acoustic blues of “Grandaddy Blues” and you’ve hit four distinct musical genres in only the first four songs. “Caution” is a straight-ahead Steve Vai style rocker with a staccato rhythm that underpins the song. Things slow down from there with the slow blues of “A Few More Miles.”
The title track “Ghost Notes” is a trippy chorus section caused by the repetitive layering of a musical phrase one on top of the other separated by some solid riff driven solos where all the members of the group get their jazz fusion chops a workout. “Way Down” takes off into the hard rock territory and Eric really lets it loose with an energetic solo. The titles of next two tracks could be a testament to Eric’s past struggles as we get the jazzy funk of “Misunderstood” followed by the reflective “New Beginnings.”
Although the pace of the album changes, the intensity of Eric’s passionate playing does not let up from the first song all the way to the frenetic pace of “EG Shuffle.” Things sound like they are finally going to mellow out with the final track; but what starts out as an acoustic track turns into a euphoric vibrato filled version of the gospel standard “Amazing Grace.”
Guitar World’s reader’s poll proclaimed him best new talent in 1991 at the age of 16 and he was even heralded as the second coming of Hendrix when he first appeared on the scene due in no part to his dress and the fact that he played upside down and left handed. Despite all the trials and tribulations he has endured along the way, Ghost Notes and its varied musical styles proves that Gales has lost none of the passion and phenomenal ability that makes him truly one of the unique talents on the guitar.
The Review: 8.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Ghost Notes
– Just Funk
– Way Down
The Big Hit
– Ghost Notes
Review by Kevin O’Rourke