Chris Duarte Group Love > Me (Zoe)

Love > Me (Zoe)

Record Reviews

Chris Duarte Group

Love > Me (Zoe)

Here's what's wrong with Chris Duarte: After 20 years of playing professionally, he's still a student of guitar and of his generation. He doesn't mind referencing the Red Hot Chili Peppers or B.B. King, and sometimes that's not bad, but he strains a little too hard on lawdy-mama type vocals, and his SRV worship is still too obvious. Here's what's right with Chris Duarte: He's an excellent student. He understands the nature of the blues, and one of these years his voice will have the age to reflect that. Even in his thirties, the longtime Austin guitarist is willing to let his albums measure his growth as a musician playing clubs and bars. The 11 original songs on Love > Me ("Love Is Greater Than Me" -- get it?) represent a thoughtful shift from the jazzier Texas Sugar Strat Magik (1994) and '97's more rockin' Tailspin Headwhack. Cuts like "Brand New Day" and "How Long" have a classic Fabulous Thunderbirds feel, while "All Night" and "Free 4 Me" sound like rock radio material. Duarte is so sincere it's hard to take him to task for being a good student, but Austin is a tough school with high standards. Duarte and his proficient company are too good to let slide without a reminder that doing homework isn't always enough.

**.5

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