Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
Eric Sardinas - Eric's signature brand of Delta dynamite has been a long time in the making. At the incredible early age of six, he already had his fingers on the fret board. Though born a lefty, he naturally gravitated towards playing the guitar as a right-hander. Admittedly, this could be considered a difficult approach, but it never slowed Sardinas down. In fact, it's actually been a major contributing factor in the formation of his unique style and specialized technique.
Also helping to shape his artistic direction were the soulful grounds in which he planted his earliest musical roots. Sardinas recalls that it was exposure to the likes of gospel, Motwon and R&B that eventually caused him to seek out the emotionally charged acoustics sounds of the Deep South. Delta titans like Charlie Patton, Son House, Robert Johnson, Skip James, Bukka White, and Fred McDowell were among his favorites. Rural country blues players such as Barbecue Bob and Blind Willie Mctell were later added to his list, as was the electricity of the Chicago Blues sound. Indeed, - Elmore James, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Otis Rush and Albert King could then be considered responsible for setting Sardinas on a collision course with what would ultimately become the final contributor to his developing style, - this - of - course - being rock 'n roll. Guitar fire-starters from the 1950s, along with harder-edged players from the turbulent 60s and 70s only further expanded and intensified the Sardinas sound.
After years of "inhaling" the essence of these various styles of music, Eric Sardinas finally "exhaled". In doing so, he consequently gave birth to an exhilarating, powerful, and sometimes terrifying new style that's real, raw, and wickedly intense.
Both his 1999 debut "Treat Me Right" and follow up "Devil's Train" were choked-full of electrified Dobro thunder, but neither surrendered Eric's deeply rooted respect for traditional blues. Mixed alongside his aggressively soulful, self- penned compositions were searing renditions of several obscure treasures from the back catalogues of classic blues artists.
Further historical influence came via a stunning array of legendary guest performers including; Howlin Wolf sideman Hubert Sumlin, blues/ rock pioneer Johnny Winter, and Delta blues kingpin Honeyboy Edwards. "Singing with Honeyboy meant a lot to me" recalls Sardinas. "He's one of the last surviving links to the first generation of Delta blues". All said and done, each of these two albums garnered bushels full of stellar reviews and rave reactions within th blues community now freely recognized and accepted Eris as a legitimate student and purveyor of the Delta legacy.
Looking back on his two first albums Sardinas can now insightfully reflect, "These records explored everything I'd learned, but at the same time they used blues as a jumping off point to go deeper." Sardinas continued his ongoing artistic quest with the third release "Black Pearls" to soar above and beyond the safe confines of twelve-bar familiarity and hopefully encouraged listeners to re-examine many of their preconceived notions regarding blues music. Celebrated studio legend Eddie Kramer was enlisted to spearhead this exiting and revolutionary musical undertaking. Also worthy of note is that "Black Pearls" was recorded completely live and directly to analog tape (i.e. no pro-tools, no vocal tuners, etc).
With legions of corporate-fueled, musical puppets littering our stages and airways, originality has become virtually extinct within the landscape of today's popular music. Fortunatly there's Eric Sardinas. His unique sound and honest delivery are breathing life back into the lungs of a stale industry on the verge of collapse. Sardinas is both a welcome reminder of the finest unfiltered music from an era bygone, as well as, a glimpse into a future realm of infinite sonic liberty. He's a courageous trailblazer who's constant repudiating routine limits and challenging all genre inherent boundaries with his wild innovations. So, - if you find yourself understandably lost and aimlessly drifting through a sad sea of musical mediocrity... find Eric Sardinas.