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Chris Duarte Group - Infinite Energy

Blues Bureau International

Infinite Energy is the latest release to come from the Chris Duarte Group on the Blues Bureau label.

Like his previous outings, "Infinite Energy" is the full package from the Chris Duarte we know and love. Music that is a mixture of Lone Star riffs and Hendrix/Vaughan single note attacks that send the dials into the red zone.

Only sometimes you get the impression Chris wants to step beyond those parameters. Of course tracks like "City Life Blues" grow on you with its tasteful jamming. But it's not all bombast threatening to split your skull. Though it flexes a Vaughan muscle, "Cross My Heart" shows a degree of musical restraint that is still maintained in the mid-tempoed rocker of "Waiting On You" that rides on cruise control.

You'll only think somethings wrong with Chris if he doesn't acknowledge Hendrix. Opening track "Ridin" comes with chording a la Axis Bold As Love. And "Voodoo Chile" hoodoo is unearthed in "Sundown Blues" which sounds like an outtake from Electric Ladyland.

And you really appreciate Duarte when he aspires to be John McLaughlin meeting Eric Johnson on the space blues- jazz of "Cold Cold Day." Believe it or not, the sound seems to soften a few notches in "My Heart Don't Want To Let You Go" until Duarte turns up the heat with impassioned soloing lifted from the Stevie Ray tablatures.

Then it's back to the Hendrix cocoon with the menacing brew of "Killin Time" and the beautiful psychedelic wave in "Hamra St." By the time you get to the track "Purple Gloaming," the steam subsides until "Me All Me" clobbers you with a Hendrix mallet.

Despite Chris dipping into his standard bag of tricks, you feel he is on the cusp of wanting to take his music to the next stage. He might be closer to his goal then we all realize.

Reviewer by Gary “Wingman” Weeks.

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