Chris Duarte Group: Lucky 13 Review

Lucky 13 is, you guessed it, the thirteenth album from Chris Duarte Group, featuring Chris Duarte on guitar and lead vocals, Dustin Sargent on the bass, and John McKnight on the drums. Described on the group’s website as “passionate, intense blues-psychedelia/jam jazz guitar that is upfront and in your face,” the Chris Duarte Group delivers just that in their new album.

Lucky 13 opens with “You Know You’re Wrong,” which starts as a buttery, bluesy jam that quickly turns into a fast-paced face-melter laden with incredible guitar riffs reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix. Duarte’s raw vocals serve the song well, adding a mature rock-voice to the already fine-tuned blues grooves. The guitar solo in the middle of the song lets the listener know right off the bat that Duarte’s fingers know their way around the neck of a guitar. The fourth track, “Who Loves You?” bodes well for the band, featuring an upbeat melody with a steady bass line that explores the scale from top to bottom. The playful lyrics: “Every day I think about you ’cause my heart is beating rhythm all the time/ ‘Cause your love has got me dancing, I’m so happy ’cause I know that you are mine/” show similarities in melody to Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog,” giving the song a ’50s feel but with more contemporary riffs.   

Though Duarte shows off his incredible guitar skills with intricate riffs and a solo on nearly every song on Lucky 13, his vocals are what shine bright on the sixth track, “Let it Go.”  His vocals sound smooth on this simple slow jam, accompanied by an equally simple yet effective snare drum beat from McKnight.

Keeping with the simple, yet loud snare, “Not Chasing It” features filtered vocals from Duarte, and coupled with his electrifying riffs, makes for an incredible rock melody that holds the album together from the middle. On the penultimate track, “Setting Sun,” the band returns to the slow-jam feel of “Let it Go”, which explores Duarte’s upper register and features harmonies from McKnight and Sargent in the chorus. The song also includes an organ keyboard sound, very similar to that included on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, representing Duarte’s more psychedelic approach to his blues-rock.  Making it hard to pick the best tracks from the album, with Lucky 13, Duarte and his group stick fiercely to their band motto: “We are here to play our ass off.”

The Review: 8/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– You Know You’re Wrong
– Who Loves You?
– Let it Go
– Not Chasing It
– Setting Sun

The Big Hit

–  Let it Go

Review by Kiley Stevens

Buy the album: Amazon | iTunes

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