Chris Duarte: The Essence of Rockin’ Blues
Chris Duarte, a name synonymous with “rockin’ blues” and “punk blues,” has been electrifying audiences with his unique blend of Texas blues-rock since the early 90s. Born in San Antonio, Texas in 1963, Duarte’s love for music was ignited at a tender age of eight when he watched Fiddler On The Roof. By the age of 14, his passion translated into strumming an electric guitar, a Supro. His life took a turn in 1979 when he moved to Austin, purchasing a 1963 Fender Stratocaster, which sadly got stolen in 1993.
Though his style leans heavily on blues, the influences of jazz maestros like John Coltrane and Miles Davis are evident. Duarte’s reverence for Stevie Ray Vaughan and his idolization of John Coltrane has shaped his musical journey, leading him to craft his own unique sound.
1994 marked a significant milestone in Duarte’s career when he released Texas Sugar/Strat Magik under Silvertone Records. His talent didn’t go unnoticed; in 1995, he was named “Best New Talent” by Guitar Player and was ranked just behind legends Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, and B.B. King in the “Best Blues Guitarist” category.
For Duarte, live performances hold a special charm. He once mentioned, “I always thought I was a better live performer anyway.” While he’s occasionally backed by the Japanese band Bluestone Company, he’s predominantly seen in the Chris Duarte Group avatar. Over the years, this ensemble has seen various talented musicians like John Jordan, Jeff Hodges, Dustin Sargent, and John McKnight.
Duarte’s collaborative spirit shines bright, having played alongside artists like Julie Burrell, Diana Cantu, and Bobby Mack. His notable concerts in North Carolina and South Carolina were even featured on the PBS show, The PBS Project.
One can’t talk about Duarte without mentioning his thirteenth album, Lucky 13. Released in 2014, the album, a brainchild of the Chris Duarte Group, is an enthralling fusion of blues, rock, jazz, and psychedelic tunes. Such is the magic of Chris Duarte, a name that resonates with eclectic and soulful music.