Chris Duarte had just come off the stage after sets at Skippers Smoke House when I was able to get a short interview. He was in a good mood and feeling good while we talked even though he was totally soaked from the hot Florida heat. Skippers is an outdoor venue and cooling is limited to a couple of fans placed near the stage.
Murf: It's good to have you back after two years!
Chris: Thanks Murf, thanks a lot.
Murf: Glad you finally made it down to Florida again.
Chris: Oh yes, it's been too long.
Murf: You used to do about three shows a year in the area.
Chris: Yeah man, we did, if at least anything, Orlando.
Murf: Any reason why?
Chris: Nope, just my booking agent......gotta kick my booking agent in
Murf: I guess your going into the studio in March?
Chris: Yes, were hoping it's March...it's tentatively set. Rounder
has....come on board finally.
Murf: Any idea when the CD might actually hit the stores?
Chris: Oh...man.....actually.....the way record companies work, I would
say maybe in October, September maybe...I don't know, they might even do
it the year after next.
Murf: Bummer...thank goodness for the tapers right?
Chris: (laughing) yeah....keep on the list, (Chris Duarte Group mailing
list) you'll probably get the new album faster that way.
Murf: Speaking of the new album, I was speaking to John (Jordan - bass)
earlier and was wondering what your feeling was for what the album was going to be like. Each album has had a different vibe to it.
Chris: Well, we're going to use the producer from the first album,
Dennis Herring, and I'm not sure it's going to be exactly like that.....but it should have a raw sound to it. Sort of a raw live sound to it. That's probably how we're going to record it, just like the first one.
Murf: I've always felt like you guys should record a live CD.
Chris: Well I guess that's what the first one had. People liked the
rawness of it.
Murf: Yeah, that was a really good one. The second one was more
experimental and the last one was more rock & roll. So your going back to the Texas blues sound?
Chris: Sort of cyclical...yeah...who knows where going to go. It looks
like.....I mean.....We've played some of the songs we're hoping to go on the new album. We just want to mass the most songs possible to present to the producer. So if we've got twenty songs or twenty-five songs to take to him, we have to use about ten of those songs, for the album, and that's what we want.
Murf: You did a new song tonight, I don't know what it was, but it was
about talking with the devil.
Chris: That's called 'Last Night', that's a brand new one. We haven't
played that one.....we just started playing it on this tour.
Murf: It seems very personal.
Chris: Some of the stuff is, but some of it is drawn from other
people's personal experiences that I know.
Murf: Sort of a cross between Jim Morrison and Hendrix.
Chris: Yeah, kinda....its sort of exploring inside yourself....you know
the devil is a demon that we have all faced at one time or another in our lives.
Murf: It was a very interesting song.
Chris: It's still finding its identity.....its what it is. It's a work in progress. A couple months from now, who knows what it will sound like. The bridge will be the same and the chorus will be the same, but all the other stuff....who knows where it's going to go.
Murf: It's nice to see John (Jordan - bass) back in the group.
Chris: Yeah...in February we started touring again. Robert (Kearns -
bass) was just busy with the Bottle Rockets and stuff. So Robert pretty much was going in that direction.... those were his buds and he's always been close to them. I just caught him at a good time where he was not busy and he could be in the group for a year. And John pretty much came into the chair full time now. We gave him the chair back in March.
Murf: You were also playing with the Mystery Quartet From Helsinki. (A
acid jazz, experimental music group headed by John Jordan)
Chris: Yeah... Oh anytime! (sounding very enthusiastic) I was also playing with another band in Austin called Greasy Wheels, actually I think they're called Saint Greasy Wheels, they sort of resurrected themselves. They were a big Austin band back in the Armadillo years. They were kings in Austin back in the 70's and early 80's. It's a lot of fun....it's totally different and it's a lot of fun.
Murf: I see you got a new guitar....A Gibson 175?
Chris: Oh the Gibson...yeah. The Gibson, they're like my favorite guitars....that and the D'Angelico New Yorker....but I don't have thirty-five or forty thousand to buy one of those. I'll take one of those! (laughing) I was fortunate...Gibson actually gave that to me. If there was one guitar that I wanted from them...it was that guitar. I told the guy that I would buy it, cause those guitars are expensive. I used to have one a long time ago. I lost it in a pawnshop during my drug years.....now I've laid down all this good karma and I guess it came back. My old guitar came back to me. I had one a long time ago back in the 80's.
Murf: It's a beautiful guitar.
Chris: It's a great guitar. A really really great guitar.
Murf: You're all over the place...John Coltrane to Thelonius Monk to
Hendrix to rock & roll and sweaty blues.
Chris: It's all music and that's why I never limit myself musically.
It's all out there and I try to put my interpretation to it. I never limit myself musically.
Murf: Have you ever got into a situation....some audiences are closed
Chris: Sure, some groups.....some audiences just want to hear blues,
like when I go to Salt Lake, pretty much they dance all the time so I'm pretty much playing a lot of shuffles. Sure I play the audience. If I get the energy and feeling from the audience, I'm going to go that direction. Sometimes when they're there to listen, I know I've got them and I can play anything. But my fans do know what to expect from
me....loud emotional guitar all over the spectrum.
Murf: Well I won't hold you up anymore...thanks for your time.
Chris: Thank you so much Murf for spreading the word, and thanks to all
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