The old Willie Dixon adage, “blues is truth,” perfectly describes the searing, contemporary blues-rock of world-renowned guitarist and vocalist Coco Montoya.
Produced by drummer Tony Braunagel (Eric Burdon, Curtis Salgado, Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt), Montoya’s new album features 11 songs with a backing band featuring renowned musicians including bassist Bob Glaub (Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Jerry Lee Lewis), keyboardist Mike Finnigan (Jimi Hendrix, Etta James, Taj Mahal), guitarists Billy Watts (Eric Burdon) and Johnny Lee Schell (Bonnie Raitt), and Braunagel on drums.
Growing up, Montoya immersed himself in his parents’ record collection. He listened to big band jazz, salsa, doo-wop and rock ‘n’ roll. His first love was drums; he acquired a kit at age 11. He got a guitar two years later. “I’m sure the Beatles had something to do with this,” Montoya recalls. “I wanted to make notes as well as beats.” But guitar was his secondary instrument. Montoya turned his love of drumming into his profession, playing in a number of area rock bands while still in his teens and eventually becoming an in-demand drummer.
In 1969, Montoya saw Albert King opening up a Creedence Clearwater Revival/Iron Butterfly concert at in Los Angeles and was transformed. “After Albert got done playing,” says Montoya, “my life was changed. He showed me what music and playing the blues were all about. I knew that was what I wanted to do.”
His debut album, 1995’s "Gotta Mind To Travel," became an instant fan favorite. Blues fans, radio programmers and critics sent praise from all corners. The album immediately made it clear that Montoya was a guitarist and vocalist who ranked among the best players on the contemporary blues scene.
In 1996, he was nominated for four Blues Music Awards and walked away with the award for Best New Blues Artist. Two more Blind Pig albums followed, and Coco was well on his way to the top of the blues-rock world.
In 2000, Coco’s Alligator debut, "Suspicion," quickly became the best-selling album of his career, earning regular radio airplay on over 120 stations nationwide. Montoya’s fan base exploded. After two more highly successful Alligator releases—2002’s popular "Can’t Look Back" and 2007’s "Dirty Deal" —Montoya signed with Ruf Records, cutting both a live and a studio album.
Montoya packs clubs and theaters around the world, and brings festival audiences to their feet from New York to New Orleans to Chicago to San Francisco.
Vintage Guitar says, “Coco just keeps getting better and better...rockin’ blues with guitar that cuts straight to the heart of the matter. His guitar playing is funky and blistering; it’s perfect. Whatever he plays, he does it with fire and passion rarely seen in this day and age.”
Guitar Player says Montoya plays “stunning, powerhouse blues with a searing tone, emotional soloing, and energetic, unforced vocals.”
The show begins at 9:30 p.m. Advance tickets are available at eventbrite.com/e/coco-montoya-live-tickets-36985927906.