CRAIG CHAQUICO HAS BEEN ON THE SCENE FOR A LONG time. His big break came when he was still a teenager, joining Jefferson
Starship and going on to rack up platinum records and a
Grammy nomination. His latest release, Fire Red Moon, is the guitarist’s
first-ever blues album, although, as he explains, it’s really
nothing new for him.
“I think all of my music has a blues base to it,” explains Chaquico. “I
grew up listening to Clapton, Hendrix, and Zeppelin, and then Pink Floyd
and ZZ Top as time went on. But even in my work with Starship and my
acoustic stuff, I still hear those same influences of when I was a little kid
in my bedroom playing my guitar.
“I tried to pay tribute to my guitar heroes while still putting my stamp
on the tunes. Like on the opener, ‘Lie to Me,’ I did six different tracks:
clean, slightly more edge but still clean, then a soft crunch, then a harder
crunch, and then two degrees of distorted solos. If you listen to the song
carefully, you’ll hear those six different tones come and go. Sometimes
the guitar’s really dirty and muddy and sometimes it’s super clean and
biting. To me, those are all blues tones, and hopefully it still sounds like
the same guitar part and the same player.
“I kind of look at my career like a road. If you get on the Hollywood
freeway in L.A., there are all these cars and traffic and it’s a big city. But
if you stay on that road long enough, it turns into the Redwood Highway,
surrounded by trees and nature. Yet it really is the same road. Right now
I’m on the Blues Highway, I guess.”