Guitarist Supreme Chris Duarte Performs At The Talkhouse in Amagansett Sept. 3, 2007
A high energy virtuoso guitar show wailed its
way thru the night at the Stephen Talkhouse
in Amagansett, NY this evening as the summer
hordes trickled off of Long Island’s south fork….
On the eve of tumbleweed Tuesday, cars in convoys
exiting the island’s eastern end for citier pastures,
Chris Duarte visited Amagansett. He was accompanied by a very accomplished band from Japan, Bluestone. And the show was energetic, amazing, blistering. Chris Duarte, from Austin, Texas, showed his virtuoso skills, wrenching notes
and riffs out of his one guitar [not like the guitar aficianado David Lindley, for example, who had six or seven in a stand he props on stage when he performs] like a contortionist, ponytailed hair flying, neck rolling and snapping, hands flailing and speeding/dancing along his guitar neck producing some of the most fantastic sounds and progressions I’ve ever heard.
Duarte is like a marathon runner, showing no fatigue, as he performs with abandon and enthusiasm. Each song is a vehicle for him to go off into some different zone of powerful, intricate rockin’ blues [mostly]. Yes, he has been compared to Stevie Ray Vaughan, but he can rock straight thru, or ‘Do The Romp’ along
a very unusual beat. The drummer Taizo Takafuji, in his little black hat over his shaved head, and black goatee below, was steady and seemed perfect in recollection, never missing a beat. Yoshihiro Ogasahara was powerful on the bass, and very steady, holding his ground with the musically acrobatic Duarte. He has a very full head of hair,
sometimes obscuring his face. We spoke during the intermission and he described how when he first heard the Cream and Jack Bruce [who I told him was my favorite bass player], he pantomimed leaning back, looking up reverently, and taking a deep unbelieving breath, as a dagger of mesmerizing music lodged in the center of his chest.
The guitarist, Toshihiro Sumimoto, was much more reserved. His long straight gray-white hair hung past his slim shoulders as he played his beautiful and driving solos, plus some mean slide guitar too.
Quite a band to have to back you up. Mr. Duarte plays with them for a month in the USA and spends about that much time with them in Japan each year, touring about. A DVD of a 2006 show with them is available, but no CD yet.
You can see Hendrix, Vaughan, and Albert Collins and Albert King and many many more guitarists in Duarte’s playing, but I don’t know if I’ve ever seen
such an energetic individual on stage playing guitar so expertly and also so wildly.
When Chris Duarte comes to your town, don’t miss him. He’s about forty years old. And tours all the time, apparently. The fellow sitting behind me was
originally from Scotland, and had seen Duarte perform 13 times in different venues and settings. The man next to me had seen him seven times. They both knew his stuff. ‘Blue Velocity’ is Mr. Duarte’s newest CD. ‘Tailspin Headwhack’ is a
1997 release with several of the tunes he performed tonight aboard: ‘People Say,’ ‘Crazy,’ ‘.32 Blues’ being a few of these. Most live tunes are extended with very rewarding improvisations that enthrall the spirit and bend the mind. But Duarte hoots and howls and laughs and tells you about the books he’s read and is reading in between songs, to keep you very engaged.
It was a lot of fun tonight, very stimulating, inspiring, to see someone so good and so purely involved in loving what he does playing music for
appreciative fans, giving it his all for just us bouncing and rocking and clapping in the Talkhouse crowd…