Chris Duarte and Monte Montgomery

Romp, and New & Approved (Rounder)

Texas Platters

Chris Duarte Group

Romp (Rounder)

Monte Montgomery

New & Approved (Harmonic) When the opening punch of an album is as urgent and below the belt as "Do the Romp," chances are more good hits lie within. Romp, Chris Duarte's fifth full-length over the course of almost a decade, highlights the San Antonio native's modern, guitar-driven blues with style and class. It's not just that he can guitar-check Hendrix ("101") and the Beatles ("Mr. Neighbor") without effort, or even toss off a good cover (Bob Dylan's "One More Cup of Coffee"). It's that the longtime local, like his Austin contemporary Monte Montgomery, is imminently worthy of inclusion in the crowded pantheon of great Texas guitarists ("B-Flat Blues," "Like Eric," "Last Night"). Despite occasional overplaying, Duarte's mastery of the instrument is as compelling as it is engaging. The same can be said about Monte Montgomery, only add a hint of irony where the title of his second live album this year is concerned. Cut at the Cactus Cafe and authorized by release on his own label, Montgomery's fret-board derring-do burns bright over a dozen extended tracks -- only two cuts clock in under four minutes. Montgomery's own compositions ("Took Too Long," "Wishing Well," "All I Can Do") stack up nicely against some choice covers (Dire Straits' "Romeo & Juliet" and Willis Alan Ramsey's "Northeast Texas Women"). It's hard to find fault with Montgomery, whose loping "River" is a guitar slinger's showpiece. Worst you can say is that he's stylistically all over the place, but tell it to his legion of fans, who'll give you the middle finger, buy this CD, and still attend the show faithfully.

(Duarte) ***.5

(Montgomery) ***

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Guy Forsyth & Jeska Bailey
Conspirators (Record Review)

Reid Jowers, Sept. 27, 2019

Texas Platters
The Texas Horns
Get Here Quick (Record Review)

Jay Trachtenberg, Sept. 20, 2019

More by Margaret Moser
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?

March 3, 2017

Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
A look back at illustrated album covers old and new

July 29, 2016

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle