Popular store holds final show

Nicholas Sparling

The 92nd and final World Records show was held in Club Odyssey inside of the DoubleTree Hotel on March 14.
Bakersfield welcomed for the first time Chris Duarte and his band. Pat Evans, the owner of local music store World Records, had many people to thank for supporting the 61st part of the “No Stinkin’ Service Charge Blues” Series, specifically the loyal fans, businesses, individuals, and the 28 different performers who made the shows possible.
In an e-mail sent out by Evans, he stated the idea behind the shows. “As always, no sponsors, no ticketing service charges, just great artists in an intimate setting supported by a mature, enthusiastic audience of real music fans.” He also gave his opinion on the room, “It is always nice to have the luxury of doing a show in Club Odyssey. Since it only holds 180 folks, we can rarely afford to use it.”
Duarte was voted by the readers of Guitar Player Magazine as “1995’s Best New Talent,” Evans said, “If I were a young person wanting to see the bedrock of music, I would be right here.”
The opening band was a local group called The Five, playing only their fifth live performance. The headliner of the night was The Chris Duarte Group, a simple three-piece band consisting of drums, bass, and Chris Duarte on lead guitar, playing a ’63 Fender Stratocaster.
The prescience and structure of Duarte’s band could be compared to The Doors but with the complexity and technical skill of Jimi Hendrix. Heads bobbed enthusiastically and people found the left of the stage for a dance they had done at previous shows. The dance floor in Club Odyssey was small, which made the floor look even more crowded.
There were two tall aluminum towers on either side of the stage of only colored lights that directed attention toward the stage. Behind the aim of the lights, Club Odyssey was very dimly lit. People had to use their cell phones as lights to direct them to their seats.
After the band’s second song, Duarte talked of books. “Anybody read any good books lately? I just got done reading ‘On the Road,'” a book written by Jack Kerouac, who considered himself a “Jazz Poet.”
Looking out to the audience, the majority had their eyes on the stage, mesmerized by Duarte’s left hand placement on the frets, or the amazing speed and talent of his right.
The band did an incredible and unique cover of Bob Dylan’s “One More Cup of Coffee for the Road.”
Club Odyssey had a bar like an island in the middle of the room, always buzzing and always busy. People used the stage as a table for their drinks; you could see the liquid vibrate inside the cup. Flash photography was allowed and widely used by many.