Thursday, October 18, 2012

Album 365: Day 9 - Chris Duarte - Texas Sugar Strat Magic

Chris Duarte
Texas Sugar Strat Magic

Favorite tracks: My Way Down, Shiloh, Scrawl
Sleeper tracks: What Can I Do?, Borrowed Love

I discovered Chris through a band mate of mine.  He borrowed me the CD right around the time the local rock station in Appleton, WI started playing the first track from this album.  He played a pretty big show in the dead of winter at Ryans Ballroom, Combined Locks, WI...1996 I think.  The place was packed and I couldn't believe how loud it was in this converted school auditorium/gym.  I think the music world was looking for the next SRV and this album came out at the right time.  It's a great representation of mid 90s Texas blues and Chris does a great job with the vocals.

I have seen Chris and his band perform about 8 times since I discovered him.  He puts on a hell of a show.  He would play in the bar of Ryans Ballroom quite a bit; and my friends and I would get there early, help set up, haul gear and hang with him and the band.  He was always gracious, thankful for the help and never was annoyed by us being there.  It was a shame that his popularity dwindled to a point where he would be playing in front of 30-40 people when he came through town.  He did have a revival after those days but when I would see him at Famous Dave's in Minneapolis, the spark wasn't there. Haven't figured out if it was him or me.

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