Album Review: “Backyard Astronomy” by Chris Forte

Chicago, Illinois based guitar artist Chris Forte’s latest release Backyard Astronomy is stylistically his most diverse album till now. The massive, 14-track album, which is mostly instrumental, is a powerful mix of rock, jazz, blues, funk, pop, folk and classical. Inspired by artists like Duane Allman, Jeff Beck and Wes Montgomery, the music prominently features stunning guitar solos, keys and drums.

Chris Forte Backyard Astronomy album

Chris Forte is fond of astronomy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when he found himself quarantined at home, he continued his favourite pastime of exploring the universe. That’s how the album got its title as it brought a wide variety of musical material together just like different constellations come together to make the night sky.

“Backyard Astronomy” Musicians

Backyard Astronomy is the outcome of passionate, collaborative efforts of a group of talented musicians including Chris Forte (guitar), LaShera Moore (vocals), Chris “Hambone” Cameron (keyboards), Matt Becker (keyboards), Chuck Webb (bass), Brian Ebert (bass), Mike Zabrin (bass), Rob Davis (drums), Luiz Ewerling (drums) and several other guest artists.

“Backyard Astronomy” Tracklist

Backyard Astronomy is a 14-track album, out of which 11 are instrumental and 3 are vocals:

  1. Searchin’
  2. In A Funk
  3. The Thrill Is Gone
  4. Tranquillo
  5. A Lifetime With You
  6. Quarantine Coronatones
  7. Rehash Swagger
  8. The Way We Love
  9. The Swan
  10. Messed Up World
  11. Covidy Blues
  12. Rhapsody In Blue
  13. Baby Steps
  14. Backyard Astronomy

The vocal tracks in the album include The Thrill Is Gone, The Way We Love and Messed Up World.

Backyard Astronomy Promo Reel:

Searchin’ opens the album with the smooth Southern blues flavours, creating a calm and relaxed atmosphere. In A Funk, the second piece, features fancy percussion and smooth guitar solo.

The Thrill Is Gone is a jazz-infused cover of BB King’s famous song with the same title. Tranquillo is an atmospheric piece, while A Lifetime With You is rock-infused with rising guitar lines.

Quarantine Coronatones is a melancholic instrumental track reminiscent of the pandemic’s quarantine woes, while Rehash Swagger is upbeat and melodious.

The Way We Love, the second vocal in the album, spreads the message that we are destined to be one. LaShera Moore’s scat singing makes the song fun to listen.

The Swan creates a soothing, dreamy atmosphere with a unique blend of piano and guitar, while the third and last vocal track Messed Up World expresses concern over the future of the planet and the younger generations.

Covidy Blues and Rhapsody In Blue are a bluesy and slightly melancholic, while Baby Steps sounds sultry and sensuous.

The album concludes with the title track, bringing together several varieties of musical sounds.

Chiris Forte’s Backyard Astronomy is a sophisticated album with dazzling music that demonstrates his extraordinary talent. The ease with which the album transitions from style of music to another is just unbelievable.

More info about Chris Forte and “Backyard Astronomy”

Chris Forte playing guitar

Here are some quick links to help you learn more about Chris Forte and his latest album Backyard Astronomy:

* Official Website * Facebook * Instagram: @chrisforteguitar

* Spotify * Bandcamp * Youtube Channel