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Earlier in his career, Chris Duarte was often compared to fellow Texas guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Johnny Winter's name was tossed around as well, but Duarte has been at this professional blues-rock thing for a couple of decades now, and while he quite likely will never escape the Vaughan/Winter cul du sac, it's obvious at this point that he has his own varied spin on the whole modern Texas blues thing, spicing it up with, at times, a jazz feel and some light psychedelia. He doesn't wander far from that mix on Lucky 13, which he co-produced with Mike Varney, and for which Duarte wrote all the songs. Working with drummer John McKnight and bassist Kevin Vecchione, Duarte stays close to the power trio template, spinning off fiery guitar lines everywhere and, particularly when he gets a bit of that Jimi Hendrix vibe going, sounding like he's stepping right out of the late '60s. Among the highlights this time around are the jazzy grooving Hendrix-like opener, "You Know You're Wrong," the loping "Angry Man," and the straight blues of "Ain't Gonna Hurt No More." Then there's the odd and intriguing "Meus Via Vita Suite," which Duarte drops in toward the end of the set. Comprising three distinct parts, "Let's Go for a Ride," "Minefield of My Mind," and "Setting Sun," it points toward a poppier direction for Duarte, although all three sections hinge, as does everything here, on Duarte's always solid and interesting guitar playing.
|Label:||Blues Bureau Int'l|