CD The Essential Coco Montoya (CD 6238338),
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The Essential Coco Montoya

  • 1. Fear No Evil
    2. Am I Losing You
    3. Seven Desires
    4. Sending Me Angels
    5. Too Much Water
    6. Monkey See, Monkey Do
    7. Do What You Want to Do
    8. Just Let Go
    9. Same Dog
    10. You Don't Love Me
    11. Give It to a Good Man
    12. You'd Think I'd Know Better by Now
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 8010

  • Credits
    ProducerCoco Montoya (Compilation)

    Personnel: Coco Montoya (vocals, guitar); Ernie Cate (vocals); Earl Cate (guitar, background vocals); Lee Roy Parnell (slide guitar); Benny Yee (piano, keyboards); Rob Rio (piano); Ernest Williamson (keyboards); Marty Binder (drums, percussion); Steve Potts , Joe Yuele (drums); Chuck Kirkpatrick, Kelly Rucker, Debbie Davies, William "Billy" Brown (background vocals).
    Photographers: Pat Johnson ; Pat Johnson.
    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. 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. The 2009 compilation 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. Other great cuts here include the 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. 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.

  • Critic Reviews
    Living Blues (p.57) - "Endlessly soulful, song-oriented, and wonderfully produced, this is a 'best of' set that works."
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