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Chris Duarte Group

FRI. DEC. 27, 2002

It can drive you to drink… all of this lumbering around aimlessly in the bloated, dull, dog days that occupy the “taint space” between Christmas and New Year’s. After Boxing Day, the thrill is gone, baby. Sure, there’s that smidgen of anticipatory excitement about the inevitable letdown of New Year’s Eve, but that doesn’t really kick in until a few days prior. Plus, even the slightest quickening of the pulse is sure to be stifled by a tedious afternoon of simmer down in the exchange lines at the mall. Here in the meat of the holiday sandwich things are thick and bland. Predictably, the sauce is on the edges. It’s commonly held that life slows down at the end, not only for the tennis-ball-walker-clutching blue hairs but also for the chuteless twentysomething skydiver who packs a lifetime of memories into the last few seconds before impact. No matter how long the trip, there is always that mental slo-mo photo finish. For most folks this is probably a good thing, the end should be a time for rest and reflection – especially when you know that in a few days you’re going to have to dust yourself off and go at it again. Here’s a suggestion to help you clean out the cobwebs: sashay over to the Saxon and check out Austin’s most criminally underpraised guitar god, Chris Duarte. In a town full of jaw-dropping musical talent, Chris Duarte has always left awestruck audiences in his wake. Stevie, Eric, Monte and others may soak up a lot of ink, and rightfully so, but Chris is every bit as deserving. Perhaps he’s been overlooked because he’s often out of town more than in, but Austin’s reputation as a musical Mecca surely benefits from his ambassadorship. Go to Friday night’s show and you’ll see why. Maybe now, in the slowest part of the season you will be able to actually see Duarte’s fingers as they blaze across the fretboard. Maybe.

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