Amped Up Music Series Eric Gales w/ Abby Bryant & The Echoes
Red Hat Amphitheater
Red Hat Amphitheater
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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 released his first record at Age 16 for Elektra records to an amazing response from the media and music fans around the globe. Guitar World Magazine’s Reader’s Poll named Eric as “Best New Talent,” in 1991. After recording a second record for Elektra, all three brothers teamed up for The Gales Bros. “Left Hand Brand” which was recorded for the House of Blues label in 1996. Through the years, it would not be unusual to look out in the audience and see artists like Carlos Santana, Eric Johnson, B. B. King, and Eric Clapton, looking on with interest as Eric took his guitar and worked crowd after crowd into a frenzy. The new millennium presented fresh opportunities for Eric. He was signed to a deal with Nightbird Records which was affiliated with the Hendrix family and distributed through MCA/Universal. Under this deal, Eric recorded the critically acclaimed record “That’s What I Am” in 2001 and hit the road, mesmerizing fans around the world with his uncanny connection to his guitar. In 2006 Eric recorded the CD “Crystal Vision” for Shrapnel Records and set the stage for his Blues Bureau Division follow-up, “The Psychedelic Underground”. In 2010 Eric released the critically successful album "Relentless" following it up with the equally powerful album “Transformation”. In 2014 a spiritually renewed Eric Gales released “Good For Sumthin’”. Released by Cleopatra Records and produced by Raphael Saadiq. His follow up project was the Double Live CD/DVD “A Night on the Sunset Strip” in 2016. From there Eric signed with Mascot Label Group in 2017. He has released two albums on this label, 2018’s “Middle of the Road” and 2019’s “The Bookends” both deeply personal and introspective works. 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 blues/rock sound that also draws upon influences as diverse as Albert King and Frank Gambale. A unique amalgam of styles, Eric Gales stands head and shoulders among other guitarists in his genre.
Built around a powerful voice and hard-driving rock ‘n’ soul rhythm section, Asheville, NC’s DownTown Abby & The Echoes has begun to secure a foothold in the Southeast music scene.
Founded by Bailey Faulkner (guitar) and Abby Bryant (vocals, keys), the two formed the band out of distinctly different musical upbringings.
Throughout his youth, Faulkner developed his musical foundation from his parent’s love of The Beatles and guitar-driven classic rock staples. Hailing from the same hometown, Bryant formed her musical intuition at home and church where she began singing at only five years old under the direction of her music minister father. With her ear and voice trained on gospel and hymns and a spiritual connection to music, Bryant set the stage for her future career in music.
First meeting in high school, the future founders of the band combined their unique influences – Bryant embraced new genres and a sultry soul and Faulkner found the voice to front his melody-centered arrangements.
Listeners will find it hard not to hear similarities to some of the artists that inspire the two including currently touring acts Tedeschi Trucks Band, Grace Potter, and Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds. At the same time, one cannot deny that even with DownTown Abby & The Echoes’ youthfulness, the band connects to the roots of the music in the members’ hearts.