Blues music comes in many forms, from folk blues to jazz blues, and often in the form of rock blues; listen to early rock from the Rolling Stones to The Yardbirds to Led Zeppelin: if you can't 'play the blues' you don't know rock (a liberal paraphrase of a Keith Richards comment). Also, blues music, nearly by definition, is defined by life experience, tragedy or otherwise. Eric Gales knows the latter: wrong choices, illicit drugs, personal tragedies, prison time, and rehab makes for great lyrical fodder. As to the former, the musical style, Transformation is pure blues rock, emphasis on the rock side.
Thanks to Shrapnel Records' founder, and guitar connoisseur, Mike Varney's guidance, Gales once more informs classic melodic hard rock with a blues edge, channeling the iconic Jimi Hendrix. But Gales isn't standing in Jimi' shadow. No, he's beside him and also several steps forward; Hendrix, Clapton and a whole host of others. Frankly, there's a nearly heavy sound to Transformation, especially within Get Your Evil On, T'other Way, and the steady, ominous, Dearly Departed. Yet, for the lively side of pure rock blues By the Way delivers, and Tortured Mind rams up the pace and adds a Texas boogie feel. But the traditional blues remain. Madman offers the slow persuasive emotion of traditional blues. The opener Before the Storm does the same. It's traditional electric blues, though not all that impressive. I wonder if Varney put the song at the start to convince diehard blues fans that Transformation, and Gales, as a guitarist, remains 'traditional blues.'
Nevertheless, Transformation is formidable blues rock, the best of it's kind. If you've never listened to blues music or, perhaps, you're too much into rock, metal, or something else, and can't get your head around it, you should listen to Eric Gales' Transformation, and up your game. Quite recommended.