5/30/99

There is yet to be a record company that seems to understand and embrace the full potential of the Chris Duarte Group. Why Chris, John, and Jason don't have their own studio with unlimited access and full tour support is beyond me! It is up to us to keep the ball rolling and spread the word on this amazing power trio. I encourage people to tape shows and turn on others, too. Here I will review tapes and videos and cover taping techniques and equipment. If you have a tape you want reviewed, send it in to the P.O. Box (above) and include info like the source, length, equipments used, and comments about what you liked or didn't like about it. I'll be sure to send you a copy of something of equal quality. The first topic I want to discuss is taping equipment. That'll be followed by reviews of several tapes and videos. I've done most of my recording with the very-reliable Sony WM-D3 cassette deck. It comes with a small, easily-concealable, external stereo microphone. It has adjustable recording levels (a must for recording live shows) to avoid sound clipping and distortion. It's a small deck about the size of a Walkman. I've also used the Sony D6 which has pitch control. This is nice for redubbing tapes that run a little slow or fast. The Sony D7 DAT recorder makes fantastic recordings. If you can get access to a line feed off the soundboard, you can plug straight in and get a nice, clean recording (assuming the soundman knows what he's doing). If all the instruments are not running through the soundboard, the mix might sound funky and you'd be better off with the external mic and making an audience recording. The microphone is as important as the deck itself. A cheap mic will make a cheap recording. There's hundreds of mics available, so shop around and ask others what they've used. I generally use the mic that came with my D3. It's a little tinny, but makes very nice recordings. I've also had good results with a Sony ECM-929LT which works well in larger places and outdoor gigs. It has better bass response, but tends to be muffled on the high end when used in small places. Custom mics by Sonic Studios are hard to beat. They're tiny, have incredible bass and treble response, and mount on eyeglasses so they're easy to hide. The one drawback is they're pricey ($300 on up). The bottomline is that you can get started taping your own shows for as little as $60. That's the cost of a factory-refurbished, good-as-new Sony D3 cassette deck with a microphone (new is around $179). You can also get refurbished D7 DAT decks for $250 (new is around $750), but these do not come with a mic. Or you can get extravagant. I saw a guy at a Radiators show with a car battery, 4 pre-amps, an equalizer, a DAT deck, and 2 large directional microphones mounted on a tripod 15 feet high! He said it cost about $8,000. Remember, if your equipment is small it is much easier to smuggle into shows (yes, I encourage this behavior!). So, I hope I've planted a little seed in your mind. SPREAD THE WORD and tell your friends how great the Chris Duarte Group is. Give 'em a tape of a show! Now let's talk about some tapes that are out there. 'Til next time - See ya' on the road!

- Reverend Bob

 


THE JELLY CLUB, Austin, Texas • April, 1992
55 minutes / Soundboard / Cassette / Excellent
Chris Duarte / John Jordan / Jeff "The Auger" Hodges

What Can I Do? / Borrowed Love / Like Eric / Drivin' South / Thrill Is Gone
Let's Have A Party / Hideaway / Catch The Next Line / Memorial Fields

This was originally titled "The Official Bootleg". It was recorded in an empty club, in the afternoon, without an audience, in order to make a demo tape to send to booking agents, promoters, clubs, and radio stations. The project was shelved when Jeff Hodges left the group. This tape cooks all the way through. "Like Eric" and "Drivin' South" have a real nice burn to them. "Let's Have A Party" has a false start before it takes off. The sound quality and the performance are both great!

 


"MUCH MUSIC" T.V. SHOW, Toronto, Canada • May 5, 1992
24 minutes / TV Broadcast / Video / Excellent
Chris Duarte / John Jordan / Jeff "The Auger" Hodges

What Can I Do? / Drivin' South / People Get Ready

This was broadcast on Canadian TV and contains short interviews inbetween songs. It has some great in-your-face camera shots. It also has an amusing story about smokin' reefer and the Canadian Police. This is one you should pick up if you find it.

 


 

FOX THEATER
Boulder, Colorado • June 22, 1992
190 minutes / Audience
Cassette / Very Good

Chris Duarte / John Jordan
Jeff "The Auger" Hodges

First set: Instrumental / What Can I Do? / Big-Legged Woman / I'm Leaving You / Let's Have A Party / Catch / The Next Line / I've Been Abused / Instrumental / I Ain't Giving Up On You / Everyday I Have The Blues / Shiloh / Drivin' South

Second set: People Get Ready / Friends / Hideaway / Letter To My Girlfriend / Do The Bodyshake / Thrill Is Gone / I Wonder Why / Like Eric / Hear My Train A-Comin'

Encore: Instrumental / Up To My Neck / Killing Floor-Are You Experienced?

 

Features a bonechilling "I'm Leaving You", Howling Wolf as only Mr. Duarte can do it. A nice, laid-back "Catch The Next Line" and the medium-tempo shuffle of "Everyday I Have The Blues" takes you to a scorching "Drivin' South"! 2nd set has a nice version of B.B. King's "Friends" and an early original "Do The Bodyshake", with some Duarte funk! On "I Wonder Why" Chris declares, "It's a trainwreck, folks!" as he fights equipment problems. After a short break they come out and work up a nitro-induced "Hear My Train A-Comin'" that has both Chris and John down on the floor workin' their instruments over. They come back for an encore and do AC/DC's "Up To My Neck" before blowing the roof off the Fox Theater with "Killing Floor-Are You Experienced?" This show was recorded from the audience (on a Sony D3), but soundboard tapes and video also exist. This is definitely one worth adding to your collection.

 

 


 

 

CHESTERFIELD CAFE
Paris, France • July 19, 1995
90 minutes / Cassette
Excellent - (Radio broadcast)

Chris Duarte / John Jordan
Barry “Frosty” Smith

C-Butt Rock / Crazy / Scrawl / Letter To My Girlfriend / Killing Floor / That’s All Right / Big-Legged Woman / Shiloh / Leave Her Be / Hideaway / My Way Down / Across The Borderline / Memorial Fields (cut)

 

 

In spite of the fact that there’s a slow, traditional “Killing Floor”, a tasty version of “Shiloh”, and a rare “Across The Borderline”, this tape is almost unlistenable. There’s these obnoxious French DeeJays who can’t seem to control the urge to talk between every song on the tape, including the beginnings of songs and while Chris talks to the audience. It’s incredibly rude!! It makes the tape very unenjoyable to listen to. Only for those who need to “have it all”, there are many other tapes that aren’t nearly frustrating to listen to!

 

 


 

 

KEY LARGO, Portland, Oregon • August 1, 1996
100 minutes / Audience / Video / Excellent -
Chris Duarte / John Jordan / Barry “Frosty” Smith

C-Butt Rock / Scrawl / Letter To My Girlfriend / Big-Legged Woman / Crimino / Tailspin Headwhack / Shiloh / My Way Down / Just Kissed My Baby / Crash / Hear My Train A-Comin’

This is a standard show song-wise, but the band plays with high-fueled energy all the way through. “Shiloh” and “Crash” are particularly nice, but the highpoint is a fantastic “Hear My Train A-Comin’” at the end. One of my Top 5 versions of this song, they pull out all the stops - it’s just incredible! Worth having for this song alone. Another highlight is John Jordan playing a rented keyboard bass with a broken hand! Nice job on the video work, too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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