Treat Me Right
Guitarist Eric Sardinas is right along those same raucous lines on Treat Me Right (Evidence 26102-3; 62:23). Only, his thing is rawer, edgier, more dangerous than Castro's tight, more refined club band. A wicked slide stylist from Philly, Sardinas also growls in the menacing manner of his most obvious influence, Johnny Winter. The guy also has the look: black leather, long black hair, tattoos, black cowboy hat, all kind of hoodoo jewelry hanging around his neck. He looks like the Steve Vai/devil character from the movie Crossroads. I understand that he's been known to douse bar-tops with alcohol, ignite it and dance in the flames. It's all part of the packaging. But besides being a volatile showman, Sardinas also flaunts some pretty impressive chops on his electrified Dobro. His grizzled vocal inflection is eerily reminiscent of Johnny Winter on Fred McDowell's "Write Me a Few Lines" and Doc Clayton's "Murdering Blues." Winter, in fact, guests on guitar and vocals on his own "Tired of Tryin'." And Hubert Sumlin, another edgy role model, appears on the Willie Dixon tune "Down in the Bottom." Sardinas does demonstrate a reverence for tradition with acoustic Dobro originals like "Sweetwater Blues" and "Cherry Bomb." But the majority of material on his wild debut is a savage, electrified, aggressively over-the-top take on Delta blues...just as Johnny Winter was 30 years ago. Proving once again that what goes around does indeed come around.