CHRIS DUARTE RETURNS TO EUREKA
SPRINGS TO OPEN 2016 BLUES WEEKEND
When Chris Duarte left the Barefoot Ballroom stage of the 1905 Basin Park Hotel on March 7, 2008 he wondered if his 10-year successful run of “Chris Duarte Weekends” here in the Eureka Springs’ downtown hotel had come to an end. The wondering is over and the answer is no. The self-proclaimed “Rockin’ Blues Man” returns “home” to Eureka Springs’ most popular historic blues venue to open the 2016 Blues Weekend on Thursday, June 16.
This homecoming to the stage of the Barefoot Ballroom will mark eight years and seven albums since Chris Duarte’ last Eureka Springs’ appearance. Both his Thursday evening kickoff performance and his Friday night exclusive concert at his favorite downtown Basin Park Hotel location begin at nine o’clock.
“This is an exciting time for us,” stated Jack Moyer, hotel general manager. “Having Chris back on stage in our hotel brings back many great memories from those performances booked by the unforgettable promoter Roger ‘Mr. Music’ Jones to the unforgettable ‘snow show’ when the hotel fell victim to a power outage but Chris played on… acoustically. With that said, Chris’ music was always so well received that his audiences became loyal hotel guests and have become part of the fabric that makes up our long-term lodging and entertainment success.”
Duarte is a savant, a sorcerer of tone, a master at channeling the spirits and sounds of great musicians of our past, while remaining completely recognizable in his own sound. He has shared his stage with many of the greatest musicians of our time as well as the multitude of “young lions” and local musicians he meets on the road. From his many years as a sideman in Austin, he easily changes roles from front to side, graciously allowing all to share in the convergence of the jam.
Chris Duarte’s music is also ever changing. In many interviews, he has said, “Music must evolve to stay fresh and relevant.” His own early offerings often become magical journeys into changing tempo and jazzy interludes before returning to their core. With such a vast catalog of recordings, there are no two shows alike. Every set list is different, and each song may be offered distinctly, based on the feel of a show and the audience. For those reasons, loyal fans often return to a Chris Duarte show again and again, night after night and always walk away awed and satisfied to have witnessed such a legendary, but humble, guitarist.
The Chris Duarte Group emerged on the music scene out of Austin, Texas in the early ‘90s and gained notoriety after wowing a packed room of industry insiders at the South By Southwest (SXSW) Conference. In the wake of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s passing, Duarte quickly gained a National reputation as a young man imbued with a playing style comparable at times to the late guitarist. One music critic wrote, “Chris’ style is that of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix. It is best experienced live and in your face! The Chris Duarte Group shows are unique each night; never the same show twice.”
Opening for the Chris Duarte Group on Friday will be The Kory Montgomery Band. Based out of Fayetteville, AR, this three-man ensemble of talented musicians –an electric bass, drums, and vocals- has been spreading their name and reputation across the country for six years. They continue to gain new popularity with their solid grooves, intense solos, and demanding lyrics. The KMB will take the Barefoot Ballroom stage of the 1905 Basin Park Hotel on Friday, June 17 at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets for the Duarte shows are available on ReserveEureka.com and range from in price from $15 to $25.
The 2016 Eureka Springs’ Blues Weekend runs through the expanded dates of Thursday through Sunday, June 16-19 and is a fundraiser for Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (TCWR). With this year’s new non-profit partner, the 2016 “big stage” relocates from The Aud in Eureka Springs’ downtown, to the Turpentine Festival Stage, located on the grounds of TCWR just south of Eureka Springs on State Highway 23. A full list of performers and performance times can be found at EurekaSpringsBlues.com.