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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

    Modern Blues

    Modern Blues
    5 songs

    Electric Blues

    Electric Blues
    5 songs

Albums by
Coco Montoya

Top Songs by
Coco Montoya

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

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