Eric Gales grew up in a musical family with four brothers, two of them who learned to play the guitar upside down and left handed in the same fashion that Eric does. Eric’s brother Eugene Gales played bass in the Eric Gales Band and his brother Little Jimmy King had a thriving career as a blues artist himself before his untimely death in 2002. Eric released his first record in 1991 at the young age of 16 for Elektra Records to an amazing response from the media and music fans around the globe. Guitar World Magazine Reader’s Poll named Eric “Best New Talent,” in 1991. After recording a second record for Elektra, all three brothers teamed up in 1996 as The Gales Brothers to record “Left Hand Brand,” which was recorded for the House of Blues label. Through the years, it has not been unusual to look out in the audience and see the likes of Carlos Santana, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, B. B. King, or Eric Clapton looking on in amazement. Word spread quickly about Eric as he was taking his God-given talents to places that no one else had ever been. Since the turn of the century, Eric has recorded numerous records for multiple record labels as well as appearing as a guest on many others. As both an African-American left-handed guitarist of extraordinary ability and an expressive vocalist, it is natural for people to compare Eric to Hendrix but Eric has developed a unique hybrid of blues/rock that draws from influences as diverse as Albert King, Eric Johnson, Carlos Santana. With a unique blend of rock, funk, and blues, Eric Gales stands head and shoulders above other guitarists in his genre and is out to blow your mind and expand your musical horizons!
The road can be tough on musicians, and has certainly treated Eric no differently than others. Over the years he has had his ups and downs and battled some of his own demons. As 2016 comes to an end and 2017 comes into play, Eric is clean and sober and his clarity and focus to be the very best he can be is at an all time high! He is fully focused on his music, his wife and his sobriety. There has never been a better time to see Eric Gales LIVE!!!
Walter “Wolfman” Washington has been a mainstay on the New Orleans music scene. He cut his teeth backing up some of the best singers and performers in New Orleans history before putting together his long time band The Roadmasters who have been burning down and burning up local and national stages since their first gigs in the 1980s. His guitar style combines both rhythm and blues, blues, New Orleans funk, and modern jazz into a way of playing that is uniquely his. His singing is emotional and heartfelt. His guitar work is intricate, intimate, and full. And in this day and age of musicians imitating the past or trying to recreate it, The Wolfman stands out as a musician steeped in the history but completely contemporary. Few musical acts, if any, do what he does. He is real, authentic, and unique.
Matthew Curry’s roots certainly run muddy-waters deep, something that’s not been lost on the guitar legends he’s had the honor of sharing the stage with over the past few years. “Curry is a phenomenal guitar player,” marvels Peter Frampton. “A highlight from my tour last year was jamming with him. He’s the next guitar hero!” Echoing that sentiment is Steve Miller, whom Curry both opened for and joined onstage during an exhilarating nine-date run in Canada as well as dates all across the US. Steve Miller declares that Curry is a “wonderful guitar player [and] great songwriter in the Stevie Ray Vaughan area of virtuosity and originality.” As much as Matthew Curry is invested in summoning the spirit of the blues — a commitment that’s in full display on the three smokin’ hot albums he’s released to date, 2011’s barn-burning If I Don’t Got You and 2014’s hard-charging testifier Electric Religion and the Newest, 2016’s Shine On — the 20-year-old guitar slinger and soulful singer from Bloomington, Illinois likes to take a much broader view of his style. “If somebody came up and asked me what I would call my music, I don’t think I would say ‘the blues,’” he admits. “And I don’t think I would say ‘rock and roll,’ either. I would actually say, ‘good music.’ Blues is my first love, but I also love ’60s rock like Cream, The Beatles, and Jimi Hendrix. I’m also into things like Southern rock, Chet Atkins, and The Allman Brothers. All of those artists are complete musicians. They write great songs, and they sing great too. They’re just incredible.” All in all, it’s been an amazing trajectory for someone who just couldn’t get enough of that guitar stuff at age 4 to having a tune he’d written, If I Don’t Got You’s epic tour de jam “Blinded by the Darkness,” win accolades as the Best Blues Song in the International Songwriting Competition. “My dad had this beautiful Martin acoustic guitar, and he was really big into old-school blues like Muddy Waters,” Matthew recalls. “It really caught my ear. I can remember my dad sitting in his recliner and playing his acoustic while I would just sit on the floor, watching every single movement his fingers made. I was mesmerized by the sound.”
Rick Estrin & the Nightcats
B.B. King Entertainer
Best New Artist Album
Mr. Sipp – The Blues Child
Contemporary Blues Female Artist
Contemporary Blues Male Artist
Joe Louis Walker
Rock Blues Album of the Year
Joe Louis Walker – Everybody Wants a Piece
Walter Trout – Battle Scars
“Gonna Live Again” written and performed by Walter Trout