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

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