Coco Montoya had the good fortune of having several key events help shape his musical career. While growing up in California during the 1960’s Coco saw an Albert King performance that changed everything for him and showed him what guitar playing was all about. The second event came in 1972 when Albert Collins, after hearing Montoya play the drums, called him in need of a drummer. Coco ended up playing with Albert Collins for the next five years. He found in Collins a mentor and father figure who taught him how to play the guitar. The third major turning point came in 1980 when John Mayall gave Montoya a call looking for a new guitar player for his Bluesbreakers. Following in the footsteps of Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Mick Taylor, all former guitar players for Mayall, was not an easy task, but Montoya was determined to prove himself. This stint lasted ten years and was the proving ground where Montoya honed his guitar skills and forged his own brand of guitar fire power.
In 1993, after going solo, Montoya established a reputation as one of the strongest performers on the blues circuit, tearing up clubs and knocking out festival audiences around the country with his spectacular shows. Montoya’s first solo album, "Gotta Mind To Travel" (1995) was one of the best blues albums of the year. His latest album, "Ya Think I’d Know Better" was a scorching follow up and featured more of his passionate/gritty vocals and expressive guitar playing.
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Copyright © 1997 by Ray M. Stiles
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