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Artist

Coco Montoya

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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

Albums by
Coco Montoya

Top Songs by
Coco Montoya

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

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