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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. The independent blues label Ruf Records released I Want It All Back, and they followed up with a live album, Songs from the Road, in 2014. Montoya and Alligator Records partnered again to release 2017's Hard Truth. ~ John Bush & Al Campbell
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Stations Featuring
Coco Montoya

    Electric Blues

    Electric Blues
    5 songs

    Modern Blues

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

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