date >> 09-06-2003
the venue >> washburn guitar festival
location >> mundelein, illinois
show review by TOMMY of The Dobro of Fire YahooGroup
I was quite thrilled to find out that Eric Sardinas was playing so close to home (Mundelein, Illinois), and with Chris Duarte, to boot.. Anthony Gomes was on stage when I arrived. I believe that he is local to Chicago, and compared to the other artists, it shows. I'm quite sure that if you catch a show that he is headlining, it would be fine, but he was out of his league for this event.
Next on the bill was Chris Duarte. I would like to start this off by saying, that I am a Duarte fan. His show started with a bang. He was DEAD ON.. He was making that old Strat sing. Much of what he started the show with was new material, and I have not acquired a copy of his newest CD, but after hearing what he was dealing, I will. It seemed like a strong dose of his proven "Texas Sugar Strat Magik". He drifted away from this style slightly over the past few years, and it was GREAT to hear some fresh new stuff in that good ol' style. Things took a dive when he picked up a Washburn. I'm not sure if he had to because of the sponsor, but he seemed uncomfortable with this guitar. The sound was not his own, and you could tell that he was not at home with it. There was one tune (not sure of the name.. most likely a newer tune), when he kicked in the roto-vibe. He played a short opening lead that was smothered in the Washburn sound, and the roto-vibe... BUT!!! After the song kicked in... WOW!! Sounded like Jimi's Angel on steroids. Later into the show, he did more of his regular set including "Shiloh," "Big Legged Woman," "My Way Down," and "Clio." "Big Legged Woman" and "Clio" were FANTASTIC!! He was on the money. "Shiloh" and "My Way Down" were great if you are not a guitar player, but I am, and he was struggling through it. This was a slight let down, because "My Way Down" is one of my favorites, and just a few years ago, inspired me to play in that style with that very song at Chord On Blues in St. Charles, Illinois. All in all, it was a hit or miss show, but the strong parts were worth it.
Next up... Eric Sardinas. I have had the Devil's Train CD for about 6 months, and have thought that he is a strong artist, and his new CD was a good continuation of the same, but no CD could EVER prepare me for the show that he put on that night. I am convinced that he followed Robert Johnson's footsteps down to the crossroads, and made his own deal with the devil. I am VERY picky about live performances, and my jaw busted the concrete in front of my feet. Eric opens the show by running out and doing a 10 minute lead that would make any guitar player cry. Ya know... I feel sorry for guitar players that have to open for guys like Mato Nanji, or Kenny Wayne Shepherd... But this guy has it. His level of playing is HIGH. He has a stage show that is a mix of Voodoo, hard rock, and strong rootsy blues. The sound was a mix of Johnny Winter, Robert Johnson and MAYBE AC/DC. He was all over the stage, in front of the stage, in the audience, and anywhere he could possibly go. The mellow country blues was fantastic. His sound is so gritty, it was refreshing to hear him drop the gain, and play some sweet dobro. I believe that he has invented a new style here. It has a strong dose of roots, but I have never heard a dobro sound this way. The highlight of the evening would have to be "Flames Of Love", and lighting his dobro on fire.
I give Eric's show a three word review... OH MY GOD!!!
Tommy - (Going to practice now... Sniff, sniff)
[webmistress SIDEBAR: At one Eric Sardinas show I attended, a couple of guitar players arrived late to watch the show, parked themselves at my half-empty table, and started talking shop (that's how I knew they were players.) About two songs after they arrived, I asked them what they thought so far. One didn't say anything, just shook his head. The other guy looked me in the eye and said -- completely deadpan -- "I fuckin' QUIT."]