"Keeping the Blues Alive Award" Achievement for Blues on the Internet Presented by The Blues Foundation
While many mention the level of soul in the voice of Coco Montoya, there are still plenty who wonder what the fuss is all about. At best, his vocals occasionally strike paydirt, and at worst, he can become grating over the course of an entire CD. Sadly, his somewhat questionable perch as a saving grace for blues seems to be in jeopardy if Can't Look Back is any indication. Kicking off with Wish I Could Be That Strong, Running Away From Love, Something About You, I Won't Beg and Trip, Stumble And Fall has him sounding like an outcast from an 80's rock band with little evidence of his strong blues roots. It isn't until Can't See The Streets For My Tears that he pulls out the stops and delivers a slow burner, and while Same Old Thing gets decent treatment with plenty of Albert Collins-like guitar, Montoya hardly reaches the level of intensity the Master of the Telecaster did. As unfortunate as it might be, the remainder of this outing will offer little for blues fans either; the title track contains some potent guitar and Back In A Cadillac works off a pounding shuffle, but No Longer Part Of Your Dreams, Holding Out For You and Free find him wallowing in yet another example of Alligator's overly-clean and antiseptic production values. His instrumental prowess manages to reach levels of inspiration and sustained interest, but with the disappointing choice of material, unnecessary guitar effects, and vocals that can't match the desire, Can't Look Back will surely have many looking back and wondering just what happened to someone who seemed to have so much to offer. www.alligator.com. 13 tracks, 56 minutes.
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