Ween co-founder Dean Ween has unveiled full details about rock2, the sophomore studio release from the Dean Ween Group.
Although he doesn't totally transcend his Stevie Ray Vaughan/Hendrix influences, Chris Duarte attempts to progress beyond them – occasionally – on his fourth release, Romp. Kicking off with the greasy Junior Kimbrough-penned title track, he then moves into a sizzling Hendrix-fueled instrumental, "101," which shows his hot-dog guitar prowess but could have been on any of his previous discs. Similarly, the flashy "Like Eric" doesn't hide the fact that if you wanted to hear Eric Johnson, you'd buy an Eric Johnson album. Things finally settle into a more unique groove on "My My." Here his haunting Hendrix-styled distorted fuzz tone nudges a mechanical beat that's creepy and edgy. Better still is a version of Dylan's "One More Cup of Coffee," the album's six-minute centerpiece that transforms the original into a dreamy, ominous ode, utilizing near spoken lyrics against a subtle and stark backing.
Austin-based guitarist, songwriter, and singer Chris Duarte has often been compared with the late Stevie Ray Vaughan. It's heady stuff for the musician, who plays a rhythmic style of Texas blues-rock that is at times reminiscent of Vaughan's sound, and at other times reminiscent of Johnny Winter. The truth is, Duarte has his own sound that draws on elements of jazz, blues, and rock & roll. Although he is humbled by the comparisons with the late Vaughan, the San Antonio-raised musician began playing out in clubs there when he was 15 years old. After Duarte moved to Austin when he was 16, he began taking his guitar playing much more seriously, and at that time, Vaughan was still around playing in Austin-area clubs…
This CD, which adds "Drum Conversation" (a Frank Butler feature) to the earlier LP, contains material taken from bassist Curtis Counce's Contemporary sessions which resulted in three other albums but these particular performances were not released until 1989. Half of the program features Counce's 1956 quintet (which includes trumpeter Jack Sheldon, tenor saxophonist Harold Land, pianist Carl Perkins and drummer Frank Butler) while the remainding selections are from 1958 when the group had Gerald Wilson on trumpet and pianist Elmo Hope (who contributed three originals). "Sonor" and "Landslide" are heard in alternate versions and "Woody'n You" has also been since reissued as a "bonus" cut on the CD You Get More Bounce with Curtis Counce. The playing is quite rewarding, and all four of the Counce reissues are easily recommended to hard bop collectors.