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

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