During a recording career that spans three decades and includes 19 albums, blues guitarist Eric Gales has achieved a reputation for solos that are a deluge of precise notes delivered with passion. When pedal and accessory manufacturer Jim Dunlop asked Gales what he would like in a pedal, the guitarist was quick to respond, “A Tube Screamer with more bite!”
Dunlop got Gales in touch with Jeorge Tripps, of Way Huge pedals, and in a few months Gales had exactly what he wanted.
The MXR Eric Gales EG74 Raw Dog overdrive is a mini pedal with controls for Output, Tone, and Drive housed in an attractive box sporting an image of Gales’ beloved pitbull, Little Bud.
Tested side by side with a recent TS808 reissue, the Raw Dawg showed subtle (but significant) differences. Though voiced similarly, the Raw Dawg is harmonically richer, with greater texture. It also has more low-end, mitigating the mid bump common in Tube Screamers. And, used as a clean boost with the Drive set low and Output high, the Dawg hits the front end of the amp harder and earlier.
The MXR Raw Dawg is an excellent, pedalboard-friendly, economical choice for those wanting to sink their teeth down to the bone of tone.
This article originally appeared in VG’s September 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.