Design By Humans
Published On: Fri, Jul 22nd, 2022

Chris Forte: Backyard Astronomy

Chris Forte
Backyard Astronomy
(CD Baby)

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From the sweet clear lead and big open guitar strums of “Searching” to the 70’s white soul groove of the cover “The Thrill Is Gone,” with LaShera Moore’s solid vocals  and a tight little snare snap, to some heartbreakingly beautiful acoustic guitar  on “Tranquillo” (again with some perfectly played percussion behind him), guitarist extraordinaire Chris Forte opens up his new album Backyard Astronomy showing off the style and grace he is known for.

Forte tours with Mannheim Steamroller, has worked live and in-studio in twenty-eight states and five countries, and has played just about any kind of music you can think of. On these fourteen he indeed weaves his way through lots of what influences him and what he creates so well.

Keys wail in the fusion funk of “Rehash Swagger.” Between the keys and guitar, and the swishy groove, this sets up as one of my favorites. We get a big jazzy lead on “The Way We Love,” all lounge-singer sly, and big electric guitar chording, and a mid-tempo chunk, almost gospel “Messed Up World,” with Forte taking a step back behind the piano and voices.

The vibrato bar lovemaking and infiltrating organ on the wonderful “Covidy Blues” (another sure showcase for guitar and another of my faves here), had me back on my heels it’s so cool!

There is a solo electric workout around “Rhapsody in Blue,” and Forte ends the proceedings with some crying echoey guitar solo wailing on the title track. Those single notes sing under Forte’s fingers, and pretty much bring us round to all that’s passed on Backyard Astronomy.

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Chris Forte: Backyard Astronomy