Winter Park / Live Music: Chris Duarte blazes path with the blues
September 4, 2008
As he blazes a trail of blues through the summer heat, guitar shredder Chris Duarte celebrates the debut of his sixth album Vantage Point set for release next Tuesday.On a two-month tour through Americas breadbasket, the distinguished singer/songwriter makes a return trip to Grand County for a special show at Smokin Moes. He played there two other times, and was also a favorite at the Grand County Blues Societys Blues From the Top festival.He is currently on tour with four Japanese members of the Bluestone Company: Toshihiro Sumitomo on guitar, Yoshihiro Ogasahara on bass, Taizo Takafuji on drums, and Taro Takagi on percussion. Hell also be playing with Joel Powell on bass and Chris Burroughs on drums.Duarte is compared to the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan and was named one of the top five blues guitarists of all time by Guitar Magazine, alongside legends Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy and B.B. King. Born in Austin, Texas in 1963 (the same year his favorite Fender Stratocaster was made, which is thought to have been Claptons in his Blind Faith days), he began playing professionally at age 16. With a lot of determination, perseverance and tenacity has become one of the most respected blues guitarists in the world.A lot of people will say hes the greatest guitar player that theyve ever seen, said John Catt, founding board member of the GCBS, show sponsor. Duartes is the best single performance Catt said hes ever seen, and that includes (Jimi) Hendrix.With influences from icon John Coltrane, favorite guitarist John McLaughlin, Miles Davis and blues giants like Hendrix and Vaughan, Duarte plays just about everything, (blues, rock, jazz, R&B, funk, grunge, Latin, gospel and various combinations thereof). Its all just out there to be picked up and told in my own way of interpretation, he said.Among tour stops on the Blue Velocity Tour, Duarte worked together with Hard Rock promoter Mike Varney, resulting in an 11-track CD that delivers Duarte at his best; hard rockin blues with no regrets and what is said to be his most supple and soulful singing to date along with hook-laden melodies that grab the ear and dont let go.Along with tearing up the asphalt from show to show, as Art Attack Promotions describes him, Duarte will also be blazing along new cyber-trails with a new Web site, http://www.thechrisduartegroup.com.I feel that Ive been awakened again, and also still feel like I have a long, long way to go, Duarte said. I still find myself striving to be relevant in the current music scene by incorporating modern idioms and rhythms to my playing … I want to evolve with music and to keep pushing the boundaries of the music I perform.With his music, he hopes to make the world a better place, to put smiles on faces, or an indelible imprint upon their soul.