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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

    Electric Blues

    Electric Blues
    5 songs

    Modern Blues

    Modern Blues
    5 songs

Albums by
Coco Montoya

Top Songs by
Coco Montoya

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

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