Floridian to keep southern rock authentic at Corner Shots


By Chase Myers, @chasemyers_DE

There must be something in the swampy waters of Florida. Tom Petty, Underoath, Yellowcard and Less than Jake are just a small selection of the rock ‘n’ roll names to emerge from the panhandle. 

Eric Sardinas, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native, is one name to break out of the Florida music scene with his authentic, classic rock sound and his integrity.

Sardinas will play at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Corner Shots Sports Bar in Carbondale. Tickets are $10 at the door.


He began playing music at the age of 6 when he was exposed to a lot of blues, soul, gospel, funk and Motown, he said.

“I always had a musical household,” Sardinas said. “My older brother… was more rock ‘n’ roll, so I have a lot of classic rock ‘n’ roll that I was exposed to.” 

Blues influences his music the most, with artists such as Stevie Ray Vaughn, Charlie Patton and Muddy Waters helping him develop his own style, he said. 

“When it comes to having something to say within the context of blues, you have to have your own story and your own voice,” he said.  “Everything comes from everything and everyone’s got something.” 

During his childhood, he began playing acoustic and electric guitar left-handed and eventually switched to right-handed. 

“Sometimes it’s a right-handed world,” he said. 

After playing about 300 shows a year with different backing bands, Sardinas released his first record “Treat Me Right,” in 1999 with authenticity and few digital adjustments. 


“I knew I wanted to have a record contract and with that being said, there was a time when that was the way for an artist to have their music on the scene,” he said. 

Since then, he has recorded six studio albums including “Boomerang,” which was released last year. He is currently touring with his band, Big Motor.

He said although he has had about 15 versions of a backing band since his career began, the current line-up, with Big Motor, is the most consistent. 

The band consists of Levell Price on bass and Bryan Keeling on drums. The combination of Sardinas’ Floridan influence, Price’s Mississippi background and Keeling’s Kansas roots authenticate the band’s original southern style, he said.

“It’s like a gumbo,” he said. “There are flavors everywhere. It doesn’t matter where you’re from.”

Sardinas’ band premiered as “Eric Sardinas and Big Motor” on his fifth studio album, which was produced under Steve Vai’s Favored Nations record label in 2008. 

Vai and Sardinas have toured together numerous times, including Vai’s G3 tour in 2005 where Sardinas was an opening act. 

“Steve’s a great guy,” he said. “It’s very refreshing working with people that love music the same way you do. Plus, he’s one wild guy.”

Although Sardinas’ career has taken him to international heights, performing in countries like Lithuania and Russia, he has yet to venture into the southern Illinois music scene until this week, he said.

“I cannot wait play there and we’re looking forward to it,” he said. “If anyone wants to come out and have a good time and listen to some honest rock, [Corner Shots] is the place to be.”

Chase Myers can be reached at [email protected]