Eric Sardinas & Big Motor: Sticks & Stones

Stomping modern blues.

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Floridian slidemeister Eric Sardinas has spent a lot of years on that lonesome highway and it shows: it’s probably a very long time since anyone with a taste for stompdown bluesy-rocky stuff has left one of his shows dissatisfied.

He knows how to spank that clank out of both amplified and acoustic resonators and with even a halfway-decent rhythm section (and Big Motor are considerably better than that), a good time is pretty much guaranteed. Plus he can sing too – anyway, at least as well as Johnny Winter or George Thorogood.

So where’s the let-down? It’s certainly not in Matt Gruber’s production, which delivers all the whomp and clarity blues-hearts could desire – but the songwriting is decidedly on the skinny side. If a modern blues band is going to pack an album with originals, they’re going to have to come closer to the stature of the classics than these.

However, when you hear Sardinas soar into the solo from Road To Ruin or beat his acoustic half to death on Ratchet Blues or County Line, you may find yourself not overly bothered.