Most guitarists know Craig’s story. He was the young hotshot guitarist with the Jefferson Starship in the ’70s and ’80s. After that, he started making atmospheric acoustic records for Higher Octave.
On his latest, he changes the formula a bit, but it will still appeal to the folks who like his previous Higher Octave work. The big change here is the addition of electric guitar, and to me, it’s a welcome addition. I always thought Chaquico had an amazing touch with the electric. Notes seem to just sing off his fingers. He always had a beautiful tone and knew how to use every note. And his acoustic work was always beautiful.
Cuts like “Keepers of the Flame” (a bit reminiscent of the Byrd’s classic “So You Wanna Be a Rock and Roll Star”), show off that electric player. The killer solo out is melodic and loud. I always thought he mixed those things as well as any guitarist of his generation. Same with “Innocent Kiss,” which starts as a nice acoustic ballad before leading into a chunky electric solo with a singing tone. The song, for the lack of a better word, and not to sound too, like, you know, “spacey,” has a great vibe. The jazzy “Luminosa” lets Chaquico show you how at home he feels with Latin-tinged pieces. And, songs like the title cut and “Could We Fall in Love” showcase his penchant for great melodies.
If you’re a fan of Chaquico’s, this won’t disappoint. If you’re a guitarist looking for something a little different, check it out.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Sep. ’02 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.