Eric Sardinas headlines the New Blues Festival in Huntington Beach: Interview

Eric Sardinas headlines the New Blues Festival in Huntington Beach on Saturday, April 27. The Festival, which brings the fun and music of Labor Day Weekend’s annual New Blues Festival in Long Beach to Orange Country and an inaugural spring date, should prove to be a rousing day of blues music on two stages with some great performers. Guitar Shorty  and James Harman will both be be making an appearance on the Main Stage along with a full day of local and national blues bands. On the Big Top Stage, ten more bands will give everyone plenty of choices for music all day.

The Main Stage welcomes Eric Sardinas as the Festival’s headline artist. Eric has been playing the guitar since the age of six and brings a blend of traditional acoustic and fiery electric blues to the stage. These days, he is not only popular in the US but keeps a busy schedule with tours in Europe and Asia. Eric recently spoke with the Los Angeles Beat about the blues, touring, the New Blues Festival in Huntington Beach and much more.

Q: Good morning Eric…..

A: It’s another beautiful day for what I love to do, making music.

Q: You’ve got such a unique sound. Tell me about your guitars?

A: I really like the acoustic side of music, when it came to the blues. Being an acoustic player, I gravitated naturally to the resophonic guitar, the National Steels and dobros—I fell in love with that energy. From the love and respect that I had with the inspiration of the piedmont, delta sound—their connection with the vocalization, the connection with the player, it was just something that spoke to me. I moved the sound—I amplified it; and that was something I just did on my own with a screwdriver and a big idea . I took the essence, the acoustic side that I am still connected with and still represent, but moved it into the electric side of live performance. I like to be able to walk the line and hold both of those together. I like to be able to push the delta and the tradition and keep them entwined, so it’s something that is my voice.

Q: You do a powerhouse electric blues. Who were your inspirations?

A: We could start from Elmore James to Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Skip James, Bukka White, Fred McDowell—it goes on and on. It just depends on which side of the fence you went to lean on, with the electric side it’s the energy, it’s all in there.

Q: What’s your feeling about the blues?

A: I’ve got the roots and the respect; and that’s what ultimately is the real deal, because when it comes to music, especially as a player, what I love the most is that you have to have a voice and you have to have something to say. When you have something to say and you have a voice, that’s the honesty that the blues encapsulates. I definitely have something to say.

Q: How’s it feel to be in Orange County at the inaugural Huntington Beach New Blues Festival?

A: For me, it’s an honor. To share the stage with the musicians that are playing, so much legendary musicianship that is part of this festival—for me, it’s over the top excited! It’s great to be part of the heritage and the history of the festival. It’s quite the lineup and it’s going to be great to see friends and make music and see what a true blues festival is all about—about a great day of music.

Eric Sardinas headlines the New Blues FestivalQ: What is special about a good live performance?

A: When it comes to my performance, I like to take pride in connecting, which is the first and foremost to me, to connect naturally for myself; and that comes with using the texture and the power of the acoustic side and the electric side coming together. That gives me a harmony; it is what I believe is the mojo between the ways that I deliver my sound.

Making music for my whole life and being able to travel the world backwards, forwards, upside down and any other way you can think of—it’s nice to stand on a stage and feel at home. That’s when I plug in my guitar and cut loose.

Making live music is all I know. Traveling, playing, from stage to hotel and traveling, it’s all I know, but I’m forever young with it. I just can’t wait to be there, plug in and play.

Q: Tell me a story from the road….

A: For me, 250 plus nights a year on the road is very natural. But we had an eighteen hour layover in Malaysia that was one of the worst 3 days that we had in travel. But having the family together getting to the airplane on time and making it to the show was almost impossible. I’ve got to say, that’s pretty much as rock ‘n’ roll as it gets!

Q: You’ve got a great band, Big Motor…….

A: I’ve been very fortunate to have a life with incredible musicianship. I’ve gone through some changes throughout my career, but I’ve always kept it very stripped down to bass and drums, a power trio. I like that, I like that delivery—it’s something that I respect deeply because it brings out an honesty as a player; and as a band and as a family. With all those changes that have happened, I always have the family; and I keep it very very clean and honest. You’re going to see nothing but pure energy from me. That’s something that I have always been a big fan of—-the trio; and for me, whether it’s me sitting on a chair playing acoustic on a steel, or I can stand up and deliver with my band, I think that’s the one thing that you’re definitely going to get.

Q: Who’s in the band with you?

A: On the drums, Demi Lee Solorio; and Chris Shaw on bass. I’m going to be fortunate to have my family together!

Q: You’ve got some really good albums such as Boomerang, Sticks and Stones Treat Me Right andBlack Pearls. Do you like doing albums in addition to the live shows?

A: I do, I look at each one of those albums—each one to me is a stepping stone in my life now. I like to think that I’m always moving forward, ever forward within the music.

Q: We’ll be seeing you at the Huntington Beach New Blues Festival soon….

A: I look forward to being there at the festival. It’s an honor be invited; and I know it’s just going to be a gorgeous day of music. To be part of it is a pleasure for me. It’s going to be a great show!

Q: Thanks Eric!

Eric Sardinas headlines the New Blues Festival in Huntington Beach on April 27 in beautiful Huntington Beach. Twenty other bands will be playing, including Guitar Shorty, James Harman, OC Based Whiskey and The Wolves, The Rhythm shakers, New Blues Revolution, Papa J and Crosscut Delux and many more bands. Food and vendors are also available along with plenty of good beverages.

Video and photos courtesy of Neil Zlozower and Doug Deutsch PR

Huntington Beach New Blues Festival 

Huntington Beach Sports Complex

18100 Goldenwest St.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Showtime: 9am- 9pm (Gates open 9am). Tickets: $40. (General Admission); $75. (Gold Ticket with assigned stage front seating, waitress service, access to all food vendors, merchandise vendors, bar, and beer trailer); $125. (V.I.P. with backstage access, artist meet-and-greets, stage front viewing area, catered food, non-alcoholic beverages, exclusive VIP Lounge with VIP Happy Hour, access to all food vendors, merchandise vendors, bar, beer trailer). Info: (562) 338-4805 or visit https://www.newbluesfestival.com/.

Eric Sardinas website

Eric Sardinas Facebook Page

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Ed Simon

About Ed Simon

Ed is a native of Los Angeles who loves food and food cultures. Whether he's looking for the best ceviche in Colombia, the best poke in Hawaii, the best tequila in Jalisco or the best Taiwanese Beef Roll in Los Angeles, it's all good food! He also loves a good drink. He's had Mai Tais in Hawaii, Bourbon in Kentucky, Tequila in Mexico and Rum in Jamaica. His wine escapades have taken him to Napa, Sonoma, the Willamette Valley and the Santa Ynez Valley. And he's had beer all over the world! Music is another of Ed's passion, writing and interviewing many classic rock, rock and blues musicians. Getting the great stories of road experiences from them is a particular delight. Traveling also fits in with Ed's writing, exploring all over to find the most interesting places to visit, even in out of the way areas.
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