Few blues rockers on the planet can deliver with the combination of passion and technique that Eric Gales brings to six strings.
It was in evidence for a packed house at 5 Points Music Sanctuary in March. Gales and his band of funky accompanists, including his percussion-pounding wife, LaDonna Gales, return to the room on Friday.
Gales, a Memphis native, is based in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he met and married LaDonna in 2012.
His playing has always been world-class incendiary, but he was derailed by drugs — he talked about that part of his life during his previous 5 Points show. That trouble put speed bumps in front of his career, but his 2018 album, “Middle of the Road,” went to No. 4 on the Billboard blues albums chart. Its follow-up, “The Bookends,” peaked at No. 1 on that chart in February.
One of the highlights from “The Bookends” is a slow, 12/8 blues burner called “Southpaw Serenade.” Check out our video of Gales and his band performing the number during the March show at 5 Points, via bit.ly/34YAmm5.
During that set, a lanky kid with a big, blonde afro was bouncing around in front of the stage. Gales took an interest, even taking his own hair out of a hair tie as he interacted with the young man. That was Isaac Hadden, 16, a promising guitarist and singer from Blacksburg who has been building a name at 5 Points, elsewhere on the nightspot circuit and in performances at Rooster Walk and FloydFest. Hadden and his band will open the show.