Origine du Groupe : North America
Style : Rock , Blues
Sortie : 2008
Eric Sardinas is a bit of an enigma. The long-haired, tattooed guitarslinger would seem more at home cranking out scorched-earth heavy metal rather than playing in the energetic blues-rock style that he's perfected. One might expect Sardinas to strap on an oddly-shaped B.C. Rich Warlock, or even a Dean Dimebag tribute guitar instead of the custom-made Dobro resonator guitars that he prefers. No matter your expectations, you can always depend on Eric Sardinas to surprise and entertain.
Learning The Blues At 78rpm
Sardinas discovered the Delta blues at the unbelievably young age of six, when he first picked up a guitar. Spinning ancient 78s, he developed his unique style of playing listening to Charley Patton, Son House, and Robert Johnson before moving on to modern-era blues guitarists like Muddy Waters, Elmore James, and Otis Rush. Throw in a dash of British blues-rock, hard rock, and more than a little Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan influence, and you'll have the unique, electrifying, exhilarating sound of Eric Sardinas.
Street Corner Blues
After a bit of wandering, Sardinas landed in Los Angeles in 1990. At first he survived much like his early country-blues idols, performing with an acoustic guitar on the street corner for spare change. He later put together a band, the Eric Sardinas Project (ESP), honing his sound by performing 300 nights a year for nearly six years. The band's hard work paid off, earning ESP a gig touring with Johnny Winter. Sardinas and crew recorded their debut, Treat Me Right, in 1999 for the respected jazz/blues label Evidence. Sardinas subsequently released albums in 2001 and 2003, and has since performed with bluesmen like Hubert Sumlin and David "Honeyboy" Edwards.
With his fourth album, the generically-titled Eric Sardinas and Big Motor, the enigmatic guitarist manages to turn the humble Dobro into a true musical weapon of mass destruction. Although Delta blues players would often use acoustic resonator guitars to play louder, and be heard above the juke-joint crowd, Sardinas wields his electrified Dobro as a samurai sword, slashing-and-crashing through these songs like some screaming bird of prey swooping down on dinner.
Eric Sardinas And Big Motor
With Eric Sardinas and Big Motor, Sardinas further refines his trademark sonic fury, mixing in bits and pieces of 1960s-styled British blooze-rock, John Lee-inspired boogie, Southern soul, old school Delta blues, even a bit of twangy, country-tinged blues (think early-1970s Johnny Winter). Bass guitarist Levell Price and drummer Patrick Caccia provide a locomotive beat behind Sardinas' six-string pyrotechnics; together, the trio raises a lot of joyful noise for three guys.
The album-opening "All I Need" is a 120mph raver, built upon an unrelenting rhythm, embroidered with taut, barbed-wire fretwork. The infectious, melodic "Ride" hides its pop overtones beneath a soaring guitar line, a Gospel-tinged chorus, and a Hendrix heartbeat...kind of reminds me of Clapton-era Delaney & Bonnie. The up-tempo "Gone To Memphis" is a soulful, uplifting tune with some finely-engraved Dobro work and warm vocal harmonies.
Lest listeners think that Sardinas has gone soft, the rollicking boogie-based "It's Nothing New" turns the amp up a notch, and by the time that ES and Big Motor kick into the juke-joint stomp "Just Like That," you'll be turning over chairs and dancing on the table. Sardinas' showcases some nasty, menacing slide-playing here as the band bashes-and-crashes behind his switchblade fretwork. A relatively straight-forward cover of the Elvis gem "Burning Love" displays Sardinas' playful side, while a cover of Tony Joe White's "As The Crow Flies" offers up a true 180-proof Delta gumbo with a soulful vocal turn and imaginative six-string solos.
The Reverend's Bottom Line
Sardinas has too often been dismissed as a mere Stevie Ray clone or Hendrix acolyte, both comparisons sadly missing the mark. As shown by Eric Sardinas and Big Motor, there's a lot more going on here than meets the eye (or ear). There are many shades and textures to the songs here, and if Sardinas primarily mines nuggets of musical gold from an overworked blues-rock idiom, he's done so in his own unique style. Falling firmly on the harder-rocking side of the blues-rock equation, Eric Sardinas nevertheless plays a Dobro like nobody's business, and the songs here showcase an artist still having fun and exploring the limits of his talents and the music. (Favored Nations Records)
by Reverend Keith A. Gordon
1. All I Need
3. Find My Heart
4. Gone To Memphis
5. It's Nothin' New
6. This Time
7. Just Like That
8. Burning Love
9. Wonderin' Blues
10. Door To Diamonds
11. As The Crow Flies