The Essential Coco Montoya

The Essential Coco Montoya

by Coco Montoya


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Santa Monica-born guitarist Coco Montoya has been a member of Albert Collins' Icebreakers (as a drummer), and was the first lead guitarist in John Mayall's re-formed Bluesbreakers in 1985. He is, of course, best known as a solo artist with six recordings cut between 1995 and 2007. The reason for the long breaks between albums is simple: endless touring; it's the way a bluesman really makes his money. Blind Pig Records was the first label Montoya recorded on as a solo artist, and he cut three albums for the imprint -- Gotta Mind to Travel, Ya Think I'd Know Better, and the incredible Just Let Go. As such, The Essential Coco Montoya, compiles the essential tracks from his Blind Pig stint. There are a dozen tracks here, all reflecting the more R&B and soul-based approach Montoya's form of the electric blues takes; it is one of the things that makes him fresh and unique -- combined with his stellar singing voice and signature guitar style. This serves him better than it would most post-'80s blues guitarists, who take a far more rock & roll-based approach. The funny thing is, most of the latter claim to be influenced by Stevie Ray Vaughan, but it is Montoya who captures the R&B aspect of Vaughan's music, though it came to him from working with Collins, another Texan. The set kicks off with a stellar version of Robert Ward's "Fear No Evil," where Montoya's voice and guitar are in equal balance with a crack rhythm section of B-3, rhythm guitar, bass, and drums. The band gels and follows his emotive tip to the core of the song. Other great cuts here include the wonderful Earl and Ernie Cate number "Am I Losing You," a wonderful cover of Frankie Miller's "Sending Me Angels," "Too Much Water" (an original), a killer read of Collins' "Do What You Want to Do," the self-penned "Same Dog," and the set closer "You'd Think I'd Know Better by Now," with his slide guitar speaking alongside that throaty, clear-as-a-bell baritone singing voice. Montoya's Blind Pig Records are all in print and worth owning; in fact, they are preferable to his latter Alligator sides because they sound far more natural, warm, and full, without the artificial and grating high end in the guitar level and the overall thin sound that is a label trademark and tends to make its artists sound the same. This is a wonderful compilation, full of killer tracks; it's worthwhile as a mixtape if you already own the individual Blind Pig records, but more importantly, it is a solid introduction to an enigmatic modern bluesman.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/20/2009
Label: Blind Pig
UPC: 0019148801028
catalogNumber: 488010

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Coco Montoya   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Lee Roy Parnell   Rhythm Guitar,Slide Guitar,Soloist
Debbie Davies   Rhythm Guitar,Background Vocals
Marty Binder   Percussion,Drums
Earl Cate   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Background Vocals
Ernie Cate   Vocals
Steve Ehrmann   Bass
Mike Finnegan   Hammond Organ
Chuck Kirkpatrick   Rhythm Guitar,Background Vocals
Rob Rio   Piano
Kelly Rucker   Background Vocals
Michael Toles   Rhythm Guitar
Ernest Williamson   Keyboards
Benny Yee   Piano,Keyboards,Hammond Organ
Joe Yuele   Drums
Albert Molinaro   Bass
Dave Smith   Bass
William "Billy" Brown   Background Vocals
Steve Potts   Drums

Technical Credits

Albert Collins   Composer
Earl Cate   Composer
Edward Chmelewski   Executive Producer
Jerry del Giudice   Executive Producer
Coco Montoya   Composer

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