Lompoc is lucky to be on the travel route between LA and SF as so many talented artists pass through often looking for a booking. FCB got lucky when Chris Durante - Texas Blues Guitarist Exxtraordinaire hit us up for a booking. Read his bio and be prepared to be impressed. Come enjoy some Texas-style blues with us and let's see if Chris' fingers bleed. Must be pretty good if only legends Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy and B.B. King. beat him out as blues guitarist of the year?
BIO: Firebrand blues guitarist Chris Duarte dropped his sophomore album, Texas Sugar Strat Magik, in 1994, and it sold an excess of 100,000 units. It was a big success for a modern blues album. Duarte went onto win the highly coveted "Best New Talent" in Guitar Player's Reader's Poll, and he finished fourth in the magazine's "Best Blues Guitarist" category, behind legends Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy and B.B. King. He would go on to issue a string of critically-acclaimed blues, blues-rock albums, and experimental fusion-tinged albums. In the ensuing years, Duarte would also maintain an in-demand touring schedule both as a solo artist and as a sideman.
Throughout it all, fans have hungered for the ferocious blues stylist to dig into some Texas blues with his own unmistakable magic. For his 15th album, his first since 2014, he does just that: The Austin, Texas blues guitar slinger teems up with Texas Sugar Strat Magik producer-guitarist Dennis Herring for the first time in 22 years. The resulting album, the gritty and sexy Ain't Giving Up, out September 2022 on Mascot Records, isn't a calculated return to roots affair, though. Recorded live on the studio floor with vintage gear and with minimal overdubs, this is a raw and revved-up showcase for the blues virtuoso's jaw-dropping chops; his mastery of the elusive Texas shuffle; and his deep love and commitment to the blues.
"I planted my flag with Strat Magik, and on this album I am pushing the music forward. I've explored lots of different facets of my playing, but this album says, 'I'm here, and I'm not giving up on blues or my career,"' Duarte says. He continues: "And I'm not playing it safe, either-the solos were all tracked live."
Duarte has been known for his physical and athletic playing style-he often plays so hard his fingers bleed while he's onstage (there are photos to prove this legend). Because of this fiery dedication, many fans and critics have playfully referred to his music as "punk blues" or "rockin' blues." "My style is super aggressive and physical," Duarte affirms. "These days I'm a bit older, but I still put as much heart into my playing as I ever did-I still love playing."
The guitarist, singer, and songwriter came up as a force to be reckoned with in the 1990s Austin, Texas roots and blues scene. He rose to prominence in the wake of Stevie Ray Vaughan's passing, and was noted for his muscular playing style; his jazz and rock n' roll -infused blues solos; and his command of the Texas blues tradition. Because of these soulfully virtuosic qualities, Duarte was often compared to the beloved modern blues icon, SRV. "I wish I was the whiz people think I am," he says with a good-natured laugh. "Whatever skills I have, have taken years to gain-I practice a lot." He continues: "I still want to be great and make my mark. I listen to SRV, Jimmie Vaughan, and others, and I always get inspired to carry on the Texas blues tradition."