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Coco Montoya

Though he grew up as a drummer and was raised on rock & roll, Coco Montoya became an outstanding blues guitarist after stints in the bands of Albert Collins and John Mayall. Montoya debuted as a leader in 1995 with the Blind Pig album Gotta Mind to Travel and garnered an award for Best New Blues Artist at the following year's W.C. Handy Awards ceremonies. Born in Santa Monica, Montoya played drums for a local rock band that toured the region during the mid-'70s, playing in area clubs. Although he had recently been turned on to blues at an Albert King show, he was somewhat unprepared to sit in with another blues legend -- "the Iceman" Albert Collins -- when a bar-owner friend of Montoya invited the bluesman to play at his nightclub. Though his inexperience showed, the young drummer impressed Collins enough to hire him for a Pacific Northwest tour three months later. The tour soon ended, but the pair's affiliation remained for more than five years, while Montoya learned much about the handling of blues guitar from "the Master of the Telecaster." By the early '80s, Coco Montoya was back in the small-time nightclub business, playing guitar with several regional bands. At one night's show, he realized that John Mayall was in the audience, so he dedicated a cover of "All Your Love" to the British blues maestro. The song prompted Mayall to hire Montoya as lead guitarist for a new version of the Bluesbreakers he had formed. Despite the enormous pressure of filling a spot once held by Eric Clapton and Peter Green, Montoya jumped at the opportunity. His first album with the Bluesbreakers came in 1985. Mayall had not released an album in five years at that point and the Bluesbreakers had been dead for more than 15, but the live album Behind the Iron Curtain proved Mayall's viability thanks mostly to the fiery work of Montoya. The guitarist appeared on three studio albums with Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, but then struck out on his own by the mid-'90s. Signed to Blind Pig, Montoya released Gotta Mind to Travel in 1995 with help from Mayall and another former Bluesbreaker compatriot, rhythm guitarist Debbie Davies. After years of toil under Collins and Mayall, Montoya was finally in the spotlight and his award as Best New Blues Artist of 1996 proved quite ironic, given his years of experience. His second album, Ya Think I'd Know Better, was followed by 1997's Just Let Go. At that point, Montoya and Blind Pig parted company and he signed with Alligator Records. Suspicion was released in 2000, followed two years later by Can't Look Back and by Dirty Deal in 2007. All three discs incorporated a definitive soul/R&B approach. I Want It All Back, produced by Keb' Mo' and Jeff Paris, appeared in 2010. ~ John Bush & Al Campbell
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Stations Featuring
Coco Montoya

    Modern Blues

    Modern Blues
    5 songs

    Electric Blues

    Electric Blues
    5 songs

Albums by
Coco Montoya

Top Songs by
Coco Montoya

  1.   Song
  2.   Too Much Water
  3.   Seven Desires
  4.   Fear No Evil
  5.   Love Gotcha
  6.   Coin Operated Love
  7.   Last Dirty Deal
  8.   Talkin' Woman Blues
  9.   You Don't Love Me
  10.   Big Boy Pete
  11.   Life of My Broken Heart
  12.   Gotta Mind to Travel
  13.   She's Gonna Need Somebody
  14.   I Want It All Back
  15.   Hey Senorita
  16.   Forever
  17.   Fannie Mae
  18.   Cry Lonely
  19.   Three Sides to Every Story
  20.   Back in a Cadillac
  21.   Same Old Thing
  22.   Trip, Stumble and Fall
  23.   I Won't Beg
  24.   Running Away from Love
  25.   Casting My Spell
  26.   Someday After Awhile
  27.   Sending Me Angels
  28.   Never Seen You Cry This Way Before
  29.   Beginner at the Blues
  30.   Do What You Want to Do
  31.   My Side of the Fence
  32.   What's Done Is Done
  33.   Dyin' Flu
  34.   Too Much of a Good Thing
  35.   You'd Think I'd Know Better by Now
  36.   The Heart of Soul
  37.   Monkey See, Monkey Do
  38.   Nothin' in the Streets
  39.   As Close as I Have Come
  40.   Tumbleweed
  41.   Get You Business Straight
  42.   Top of the Hill
  43.   I Need Your Love in My Life
  44.   Cool Like Dat
  45.   Put the Shoe on the Other Foot
  46.   Love Jail
  47.   A Fool in Love
  48.   Get Your Business Straight
  49.   One Who Really Loves You
  50.   Don't Go Makin' Plans
  51.   It's My Own Tears
  52.   Clean Slate
  53.   Free
  54.   Holding Out for You
  55.   Women Have a Way with a Fool
  56.   Can't See the Streets for My Tears
  57.   Wish I Could Be That Strong
  58.   Good Days, Bad Days
  59.   Beyond the Blues
  60.   Don't Take It Personally
  61.   Enough Is Enough
  62.   Mother and Daughter
  63.   Hard Love
  64.   Give It to a Good Man
  65.   Just Let Go
  66.   Can't Get My Ass in Gear
  67.   A Bluesman's Christmas
  68.   Can't Look Back
  69.   Am I Losing You
  70.   Somebody's Baby
  71.   It Takes Time
  72.   It's All Your Fault
  73.   Ain't No Brakeman
  74.   You Didn't Think About That
  75.   Trading One Fool for Another
  76.   Same Dog
  77.   Something About You
  78.   Nothing But Love
  79.   Hiding Place
  80.   What I Know Now
  81.   Nothing's Too Good for My Baby
  82.   I Got a Mind To Travel
  83.   No Longer a Part of Your Dreams
  84.   Fool
  85.   How Do You Sleep at Night?

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