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

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