Chris Duarte is a great guitarist.
Of the current crop of players aspiring to the permanently vacated Texas chair, Chris’ stuff rises closest to the top. In concert, his chops are endless and eloquent, crafted far beyond the constraints of the Lone Star School. On this most recent effort Duarte takes the steps necessary to lock in on the musical future he has made such sacrifice to attain.
How do you establish an identity seperate of, yet still paying respects to, the man from South Dallas who singlehandedly unified so many modern schools? We’re finding out there is no next…well, there’s no need to mention the name, what the younger Vaughan would be the proudest of legacy-wise would be what is slowly taking place. Individual identities that retain his influence.
Love Is Greater Than Me casts a number of styles, and at times takes on the feel of a demo. There is nothing demeaning in that statement. It’s just indicative of Duarte’s breaking out of the mold. Assuredly, he will be keeping track of the cuts that get the greatest response, and he’ll build his “second” career from the direction his faithful listeners (and there are many, this writer included) offer in response.
Chris Duarte is the midst of a renaissance that listeners will ultimately benefit from.
Zoe Records, One Camp Street, Cambridge, MA 02140.
This review originally appeared in VG‘s Feb. ’01 issue.