Chris Duarte Group Chris Duarte Group
Romp
(Zoe/Rounder)
½


Sometimes, even bubblegum pop fans thirst for a good shot of solid, years-on-the-road seasoned Texas bar blues.

When you're in that mood, pick up the latest release from Austin's Chris Duarte Group. Its new CD, Romp, leads off with a blistering stomp blues in Junior Kimbrough's "Do the Romp," before sliding with a rollicking riff into the even faster paced "101."

With an echo-drenched guitar energy and vocals reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughn, the Chris Duarte Group sounds like it knows how to make a room jump. It shows how to lay down an incendiary jam session with "Mr. Neighbor," and it also knows how to slow it down, as it did on the Bob Dylan cover "One More Cup," with a lightly sticked drum and softly moaning blue guitar.

Romp is worth seeking out, even for a non-blues fan. Some, regretfully, may be inspired to play air guitar.

The Chris Duarte Group will be playing Sept. 6 at the Washburn Guitar Festival in Mundelein.