Chris Duarte

Texas Sugar/Strat Magik

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Guitarist Chris Duarte's Texas Sugar Strat Magik is an impressive debut album, showcasing his fiery, Stevie Ray Vaughan-derived blues-rock. As a songwriter, Duarte is still developing -- he fails to come up with any memorable songs, although he does contribute several competent, unexceptional genre pieces -- but as an instrumentalist, he's first-rate, spitting out solos with a blistering intensity or laying back with gentle, lyrical phrases. And that's what makes Texas Sugar Strat Magik a successful record -- it's simply a great guitar album, full of exceptional playing.

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