Eric Gales

Eric Gales

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.

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.

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