High on my list of favorite modern electric blues men is white-haired Texan, Johnny Winter. My earliest exposure to the blues came from listening to Winter's renditions of songs like "Good Morning Little School Girl" and the live version of "Mean Town Blues." Clearly, no one compared to Winter at the height of his powers and few guitarists have been able to capture Winter's signature sound. That said, let it be known that Eric Sardinas' latest release on Evidence Music, Devil's Train, captures the essence of Winter's sound in a frighteningly accurate fashion.
Most notable on the CD is that Sardinas makes his mark with a thirteen song assemblage that DOES NOT include a bunch of cover's and Winter derived songs. Instead, Devil's Train includes eleven originals, one Elmore James classic, "My Kind of Woman" and a duet with one of the elder statesmen of the blues, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, on Edward's original, "Gambling Man Blues."
The sound on the CD is predominantly electric Texas style slide guitar heavy blues/rock, with a bit of Elmore James' Chicago style thrown in for good measure. Backed by bassist Paul Loranger and drummer Scott Palacios, Sardinas guitar blazes through, overpowering the listener with his exceptional guitar wizardry. On "Gambling Man Blues" the sound becomes more spartan as Sardinas and Honeyboy Edwards get down to some serious rural slide blues, trading guitar licks and vocals throughout the song.
The CD opens with the blistering original, "Piece of Me" that immediately invokes visions of Johnny Winter that reoccur elsewhere on the CD, most notably on "Aggravating Papa," "My Sweet Time" and the title track, "Devil's Train." The duet with Honeyboy is also one of the standouts on the CD.
Devil's Train is an excellent CD by an exceptional guitarist, Eric Sardinas. To learn more about Eric, visit his website at www.ericsardinas.com. Pick up a copy of Devil's Train, it's a ride that you don't want to miss!!!!
This review is copyright © 2001 by Dave "Doc" Piltz, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.