Chris Forte – “The Thrill Is Gone”


An eclectic guitar-fronted album spanning from sweltering bluesy rock to lush Latin-inspired grooves, Backyard Astronomy comes via Chicago-based artist Chris Forte. Forte’s diverse career spans over 25 years; he first picked up a guitar at the age of 16, and three years later was playing in bars throughout Chicago. Through the album’s 11 instrumental tracks and 3 vocal tracks, Forte showcases his eclectic stylistic reach and high-level musicianship.

Backyard Astronomy boasts a number of successes. “The Thrill Is Gone” stands out in particular for its bluesy guitar licks and LaShera Moore’s scorching vocal performance, entrancing with its suave rock sound. “A Life with You” features a slithering backing organ and tender guitars, recalling a bit of Pink Floyd’s softer psych-touched works. As its title implies, “Tranquillo” is a lusher showing, touching on Latin-inspired guitar work and general serenity. Backyard Astronomy enamors throughout with lovely guitar work and songwriting.

Stream Backyard Astronomy in full below:

Forte elaborates in detail on the album, below:

“Backyard Astronomy came together in the midst of the pandemic, when a performing guitarist found himself quarantined and recording remotely for various church and tribute shows. Through the process of these recordings, original material came together which inspired the notion that there was more to the music that was being produced than just social media shares or internet content. The result was a mix of material recorded in my home, as well as at the Lutheran Church of the Ascension in Northfield, IL, Shirk Studios in Chicago, IL, and Soundbank Studio in Northfield, IL.

The title, Backyard Astronomy, came together as Astronomy is a big hobby of mine, and continued as well through the pandemic. It also brought the material together as the songs are so varied stylistically. Just like all the constellations in the sky are different but come together to make the night sky, the varied styles of the songs come together as they are inspirations of one guitarist/musician (in the throes of a pandemic).

Additionally, this album found me recording for the first time with someone I’ve always looked up to, Chris “Hambone” Cameron on keyboards, which was truly a dream come true. As well, I was able to reconnect with musicians Brian Ebert and Matt Becker, who I began my musical career with for the first time in decades. Lastly, represented on this album is a duo with Chicago-based composer, Mischa Zupko, who I’ve worked alongside for 13 years at Lutheran Church of the Ascension, on piano, representing the first released recording of us performing together.”

This track and others featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of March 2022’ Spotify playlist.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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