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Blue Velocity *
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Album: Blue Velocity *
# Song Title   Time
1)    Amy Lee
2)    Do It Again
3)    Hard Mind
4)    Something Wicked
5)    I'll Never Know
6)    Sun Prairie Blues
7)    Never Gonna Change
8)    R U 4 Real?
9)    Out in the Rain
10)    Leave Her Be
11)    Met My Match
 
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Chris Duarte: Chris Duarte (guitars); Dustin Sargent (bass guitar); Damien Lewis.
  • Personnel: Chris Duarte (vocals, guitar); Damien Lewis (drums).
  • Audio Mixers: Mark "Mooka" Rennick; Jason D'Ottavio.
  • Recording information: Prairie Sun Studios, Cotati, CA.
  • Photographer: Steve Jennings.
  • Chris Duarte's name is nearly always mentioned alongside those of the late, great guitar gods Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix. There is some validity to the comparison, as Duarte does specialize in that high-octane, lightning-bright, raw but intelligent brand of playing that Hendrix and Vaughan had so definitively put their names on, and he does quite often favor their tones and draw on their trademark licks. But those comparisons were only partially true even when Duarte emerged from Austin in the mid-'90s as a promising craftsman, and they're approaching irrelevancy now that he's working his way toward seasoned vet. Duarte has painstakingly absorbed his influences to develop his own signature style and gained his own coterie of fans, and Blue Velocity, Duarte's first release since 2003's Romp, is where it all comes together. With Dustin Sargent on bass and Damien Lewis pounding drums, Duarte emerges here as more of a total artist than in the past -- the guitar brilliance serves the songs, rather than the other way around. From the thudding, crunching opener "Amy Lee" to the lengthy, melodic mid-tempo showcase "Something Wicked" (OK, he does owe Hendrix big-time for the approach on that one) to the punky screamer "Never Gonna Change" and the roughly Johnny Winter-esque "Out in the Rain," each track is packed with ace musicianship, solid songwriting, impassioned vocals from Duarte and whole lot of fire. But let's face it, in the end, it's that guitar that his fans are going to be gripping onto, and yes, Duarte delivers. On Blue Velocity he transcends those abovementioned names to offer consistently superb, no-frills, ballsy axemanship that will more than satisfy those craving something new in the blues-rock arena. Duarte may never be considered one of the great innovators, but he's certainly one of blues-rock's most impressive current practitioners. ~ Jeff Tamarkin
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