Eric Sardinas | BB’s Jazz, Blues and Soups | 05.09.06

Eric Sardinas

Bb's Jazz, Blues and Soups (May 9)

Eric Sardinas, an amazing Texas blues guitar player with a real Hendrix flair, recently tore it up at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups-a gem of a St. Louis venue treasured by fans of genuine blues.

There was a baseball game letting out downtown that Tuesday night-a fact I was completely oblivious to-so I ended up having to fight tooth and nail to cross the one block over to Broadway from the I-40 exit. There were waves of humanity crossing the streets in a rush to get back to their cars and safely out of Dodge. I could tell Sardinas was already on stage before I entered the venue-you could hear his signature guitar tones from out in the street. I paused and turned, looking out at a sea of red t-shirts swarming obliviously past the bar, and thought about what a tragic, missed opportunity it was for these people who weren't sticking around to check out one of the boldest and most exciting blues players around. I couldn't understand why so many more people could be interested in watching a baseball game than in experiencing this up and coming guitar legend-you wouldn't pass up a chance to see Stevie Ray Vaughn back in the early Texas Flood days, or Jimi Hendrix in his later Band of Gypsy days, would you? Well, those guys aren't around any more, so who is stepping up to the plate and pushing the limits of expression with the blues? Certainly not guys like Walter Trout or Jonny Lang. It's Eric Sardinas, people-he was right in your backyard and you missed him.

When you watch him play, it soon becomes apparent that Sardinas is able to tap into the Spirit of the Muse. He plays slide on a Dobro (an all metal delta blues acoustic guitar) and uses the feedback to create these incredible sounds. The visual aspect is also a very important part of experiencing his playing. It's the way that he moves and expresses the sounds with his whole body. The level of musicianship of all of the band members was incredible, and they all had plenty of room to stretch out and lay down some chops during the four hour show.

Check out his recordings, they're all solid, especially Black Pearls. And next time you're downtown for a game, stick around for a bit. Poke your head in the door-you never know what you might see. | Derek Lauer

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