I first heard of Eric Sardinas in 2006. He appeared on Steve Vai’s Live at the Astoria London DVD. I knew he was a great guitarist, but seeing him playing “The Attitude Song” was my only exposure to him. He was a talented guitarist. I filed him away in my head under ‘slide guitar shredder’ and that was my entire experience with Mr. Sardinas.
I have spent quite a few years thinking that the blues were stagnant and the only new blues act selling albums was John Mayer.
When the Eric Sardinas and Big Motor, Sticks and Stones CD crossed my desk I swear the jewel case was convulsing. I loaded it up to give it a listen and to my surprise, the thing I noticed wasn’t the shredding I expected. What I noticed first was a great rockin’, almost rockabilly song, “Cherry Wine” with a deep and gruff rock ` n’ roll voice. I was instantly curious as to whether Mr. Sardinas was also the singer. Yep, Eric Sardinas (guitar, vocals), Levell Price (bass) and Chris Frazier (drums).
I listened to the whole CD and what I found was a great collection of songs that range anywhere from the Delta blues of “Ratchet Blues” all the way to a frenzied full out assault of “Behind the 8”.
Sticks and Stones is a collection of songs that are fun and clever. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. There is a lot of flashy playing on the album. That’s probably what you would be expecting to get if you bought this CD. To my surprise what you would end up with is an album that is entertaining and still enjoyable even after the flash has worn off.
The lesson I learned is, “Don’t believe everything you see on TV.” There are still exciting things happening in blues. After my re-introduction to Eric Sardinas and Big Motor I recommend Sticks and Stones to anyone who loves blues or rock.
Key Tracks: Ratchet Blues, Behind the 8, Country Line
1. Cherry Wine
2. Road To Ruin
3. Full Tilt Mama
4. County Line
5. Through The Thorns
6. Burnin’ Sugar
7. Ratchet Blues
8. Behind The 8
10. Make It Shine
11. Too Many Ghosts
Artist: Eric Sardinas and Big Motor
Title: Sticks and Stones
Release Date: September 13, 2011
Label: Mascot Records