Review: ‘Craig Chaquico’

Craig Chaquico's first show in Los Angeles since his long stint as guitarist in Jefferson Starship was triumphant.

Craig Chaquico’s first show in Los Angeles since his long stint as guitarist in Jefferson Starship was triumphant.

He returned in celebration of his first solo record, “Acoustic Highway,” on indie label Higher Octave, where Chaquico combines his rock chops with nature-inspired new age music and jazz. The release has earned both a Bay Area Bammy Award for outstanding independent album and landed a No. 1 spot on Billboard’s adult alternative chart.

Chaquico has matured since his pop/rock days, surprising those who remembered his former band with his new-found style, conviction and mastery of the guitar. His all-acoustic set allowed Chaquico to push the musical envelope, adding depth , complexity and rich dynamics.

Chaquico’s warm personality added to the ambiance as he shared experiences and inspirations for the songs. At times the extensive patter seemed a distraction, but Chaquico still managed to hold the audience.

His new songs created an earthy ambience, particularly “Sacred Ground,” which used a drum pattern from Native American rituals. Chaquico ended his show with a blues edge, playing a cover of Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads” for his encore.

Craig Chaquico

(The Troubadour, West Hollywood; 299 capacity; $ 12.50 top)

Production

Promoted by the Troubadour. Reviewed April 1, 1994.

Cast

Band: Craig Chaquico, Ozzie Ahlers, Jim Retizel, Wade Olson.
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