Lucky 13 - released October 2014


Lucky 13

This is by far the longest one disc musical project I’ve done that’s been brought to the masses out there. The ‘Live’ cd had more but it was a 2-cd package. So with this current new cd clocking in a just above 70 some odd minutes it’s a bit of a mini-marathon to listen to. Personally I’m not a big fan of lengthy opuses from the modern era, I think that’s largely due to the fact that I’m a bit antiquated in my own desires and coming from the generation where album sides were rarely more than 23 minutes,(often much less cuz’ I’ve got many LPs that are less than 36 minutes in their entirety), it seems it solidified my internal clock for listening and I was always ready for a pause in the music and then had to get up to turn the record over, if you chose to listen to the other side. I can remember some records in my collection hardly being played on one side or the other. All the ‘faves’ seemed to be on one side and it was only in my early years of what I can only describe as ‘premature mawkishness’ that I would flip the record over and listen to its other songs. As if I was reminiscing upon my limited memories up to that point in my short life. Too funny.
Anyway, as mentioned before, lengthy and with 14 songs I will give a short synopsis of each.
– Chris Duarte

Lucky 13 as described by Chris Duarte

Track Sample Description Get It!
1 – You Know You’re Wrong
A sort of Hendrix-like romp I was playing with before we made the trek out to Sin City. It’s about the accusatory barbs we throw at each other in relationships in our moments of frustration. Most of the time we don’t mean it but comes out as if we’re grabbing into our argument grab-bag for the blunt cudgel. The music was laid down and we ended up keeping the original live track because it just had the ‘vibe’ to it. itunes-icon
2 – Angry Man
This song started out back in January of 2014 and slowly had time to develop. We started playing Angry Man I believe either in Feb. or March but gradually some other parts were added and by the time I brought it out to Vegas it was 95% there. Then when I started to sing it Mike Varney, producer, helped craft the melody into its final stage. The story line is of a man, told from a 3rd person, going wild with his antics and thus enduring the consequence of his actions. itunes-icon
3 – Crazy Bout’ Your Love
A shuffling ditty harking to the rhythm of D.Bramhall’s ‘Change It’ and with the oft repeated libretto of ‘Man gone crazy over Woman’s Love’ I also tried to be a bit visual with the lyrics in calling on things southern; Preachers extolling fire and brimstone, water wells with drawing buckets, but then ends up in a history lesson. I know, it’s a bit of a jump but that’s the freedom that music allows you from time to time. itunes-icon
4 – Here I Come
Wanted a Jimmy Reed inspired groove and I’m pretty sure this came from my time in Hawaii this past April when I did some shows with Jimmie Vaughn and Lou Ann Barton. It’s almost autobiographical with its age references and ruminations on capitulating on where you stand in your life but with the never-say-die aspirations towards achieving lofty goals; love, successes or spiritual nirvana only after declaring how fearless you’ll be towards attaining the aforementioned goals. Incidentally I stole the ‘Whoa whoa whoa …’ from a song Jimmie and Lou Ann were performing on that run; thanx y’all. itunes-icon
5 – Who Loves You
Originally this was supposed to be me trying to re-create a horn section a-la big band era but of course it wasn’t as easy as my novice mind in this field was telling me. It was definitely fun to make but not quite as lofty as I wanted. Plus I didn’t really have a whole lot of time to work out the harmonies and movement with the form. Still an auspicious beginning nonetheless but I’m going to need more chances on this one. Lyrics are supposed to be a fun melody that bounces with the rhythm while attempting to use descriptive cadences and sayings from the Swing Era. Every time this song starts though I can’t help but think of ‘Asleep at the Wheel’ or the Western Swing Era. Guess since I grew up listening to so much of that music it had become more intrinsic than I realized. itunes-icon
6 – Let It Go
OK I know, not another minor blues thing. And no not the one from Frozen! Yes it’s another minor blues thing but as usual I’m searching for new ways to present it. This time I went for the minimalist approach on the lyrics and the languorous smoky skeins-like atmosphere with my over-reaching attempts for Nina Simone type phrasing. The title pretty much tells the story and not much more needs to be said. In hindsight I wish I would’ve kept it in a more sedate mood overall and forego the emotive peak during the solo, but as with a lot of these recording projects, time is of the essence and most songs were written while there on the session and unless you have the entire vision laid out before you, you’re just going to have to work with what you got and make the best of it. Not to say I can’t change things up live though. itunes-icon
7 – Man Up
This one turned out to be a fun one to put together. All I had was this chord structure so everything else was added as it came to me in the following weeks I was there. Everyone thought it was a bit too much like the song ‘Hanky Panky’ but I knew there was something else inside. Sometimes this method of construction can be a disaster but I think this one turned out to be a fun toe-tapper. Lyrics are a person in reflection and pondering what to do and whether he should follow what he hears from his ‘inside voice’ screaming out in the chorus. itunes-icon
8 – Not Chasing It
 I was thinking of a Jon Spencer Blues Explosion type thing going on here. Just a heavy riff with distorted drums and a sparse, very sparse bass line. I kind of got the riff right but I should have worked on the tone and thickness more, the drum sound wasn’t exactly what I heard but that would’ve taken more time to dial that in and the bass is cool. The drum riff is cool too. In the end I just couldn’t come up with a complimentary melody line for this and Mike Varney stepped in and pretty much crafted the lyrics and libretto. Thanx Mike. Guitar sounds pretty fuzzy and wild and I do like that. Lyrics really don’t need any explanation to them. I liked the telephone sound line in there and of course the vocal intro is priceless. Never know what you find on the tracks when you go to mix. Can’t be too careful around a live microphone. itunes-icon
9 – Weak Wheels
Since we were that at ‘The Count’s’ Studio surrounded by insanely awesome cars, why not do a song about cars. Plus since I own a original muscle car myself, this was a bit of a no-brainer. With a Hendrix inspired riff to play off of and lyrics of the Big 3 automakers offerings to the muscle care era, I then decided to get an audio recording of one of the cars in house there to slap on the beginning and ending of the song. Just a fun whimsical romp. itunes-icon
10 – Ain’t Gonna Hurt No More
This is my tribute and inspired by song to the great Hank Ballard. I’ve been playing ‘Open Up Your Backdoor’ for some time now and it’s always been one of my favorites too. So in taking the rhythm from Hank’s song and setting it to the backdrop of ‘young-lovers-troubles-with-girl’s-parents’, then I stayed true to the song with using the solo from Hank’s song, cuz’ it’s just that cool, plus I had fun doing the additional rhythm track, this song is turning into one of my favorites on the album now. itunes-icon
11. Meus Via Vita Suite (the road of my life)A.  Let’s Go For A Ride
I can still almost remember the day I was doing my daily running (so I can still fit in my clothes), and the beginning riff of this song came to my head. So when these ‘moments-of-inspiration’ happen I have to retain it in my head and get to the guitar so I can bring it out to work on. With the wheels set in motion I thought on the lyrics and cadence and came upon the subject of my life and the chaos we put ourselves in with bad decisions based on our perceived notions that as young people we are indestructible and impervious to dangerous and insalubrious lifestyles. I really was reaching high on this song and I think it’s far from complete to the vision I have for it. It’s a good start though. itunes-icon
12 B.   Minefield of My Mind
Here comes the ‘chaos’ I had mentioned before. Now that I’ve been doing these ‘high risk’ behaviors and running amok in mine and other people’s lives, arguments ensue, accusations thrown about, bridges are burned and fear paralyzes all that come into my sphere. So in my head as I ruminate in my desperate times of shaky repose, I try to find the good times from it all but it’s just a mental minefield in there until I finally step on one too many mines and ‘Ka-Boom!’- my life cracks. itunes-icon
13 C. – Setting Sun
The smoke is clearing and the dark clouds overhead are dissipating and foreboding ruminations are now turning into clearer more productive actions and decisions. With my ‘howl-at-the-moon’ lifestyle being represented by the moon and incorporating the visual metaphor of a setting sun that symbolizes fading notions or actions coming to an end, despair is replaced with hope for the coming dawn, both are put to rest as they fall below the horizon on my new outlook in life. The preceding song’s idea was born during the session and I was just looking for a vehicle that would have contrast; long held out chords against a fast tempo and then the guitar takes off to symbolize the reckless thinking that happens with quick impetuous decisions. The ballad was another ‘on-the-spot’ composition with some parts being added a bit later to give the form more body. Took me a while to come up with the melody and as usual without time for reflection and maturity, I still wish I can go back and change things but I still like what I hear. Is this musical suite an over achieving attempt on this album? Maybe but I couldn’t let it rest until I tried. I really appreciate Mike Varney allowing me to stretch out and try new things. itunes-icon
14 – Jump The Trane’
The album ends with this high energy shuffle with its familiar standard ‘head’. Here I’m just attempting to jump about, in a very novice way, Coltrane’s phrasing and styles on the blues form. Coltrane will always be my favorite when it comes to blues playing and this is my own way of saying thank you to him and for what he left us. itunes-icon

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