Eric Gales stopped by the Paste Studio in New York, NY on Monday for an acoustic performance. The blues musician played several songs from his forthcoming album, Crown, due out on January 28th via Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group.

Gales opened the video with the album’s title track, which he released as the first single back in October. The studio version features Joe Bonamassa—who also produced the album alongside Josh Smith—but at Paste Studio, it was all Gales. With a right-handed guitar flipped upside down, the southpaw bluesman plucked and strummed the song’s intro. He focused heavily on vocals throughout the track, shifting his inflection and stretching lines. The live rendition took on a totally different form when compared to the album version as Gales adjusted the lyrics in some places and highlighted his message of never settling for less than one’s worth.

Related: UPDATE: Allman Family Revival Adds New Year’s Show, Announces Additional Artists

Following this cut, Gales talked with the show’s host about asking Bonamassa, his longtime friend, to produce Crown. This led to a conversation about the next song, “The Storm”, which Gales explained was written about the struggles Black Americans face every day.

“How can you love what I do and hate what I am,” he sang to open the unreleased track. After the first verse and chorus, Eric delivered some acoustic improv plucking. Tears streaming from his face interrupted his emotional trips up and down the fretboard, adding even more intensity to the thought-provoking telling.

“If you don’t know me, never have met me, no matter the color or whatever; allow me the opportunity to make you hate me before you decide to hate me,” said Gales after the song. “Here’s what potentially is happening: You’re missing out on someone that could potentially be your best friend for the rest of your life. And because of the shade of their skin, you’re cutting that off. Where I come from, that’s called ‘cutting off your blessing.'”

Gales kept the acoustic train rolling with the first-ever recording of “You Don’t Know The Blues”, marking the third Crown song of the set. “If some of the things I talk about in this song, you have never had happen to you, then there’s a strong possibility that you don’t know the blues,” he said before launching into the hardly-strummed tune, which will see its release as a single on December 9th. After showing off his PRS acoustic guitar, Gales finished the show with a fan-favorite, “Block The Sun”. Watch Eric Gales perform live at Paste Studio via the player below.

Crown is available for pre-order now, here. Gales is currently on tour and will perform tonight, December 7th, at the Orpheum Theatre in Boston, MA as part of the Allman Family Revival. Head to his official website for tickets and additional tour information.

Eric Gales Live At Paste Studio – 12/6/21