Coco Montoya Biography
Born in Santa Monica, California USA, in 1951 and raised by working class
parents with a large record collection, over the course of his 30-year
career, guitarist+vocalist Coco Montoya's explosive guitar playing and
soul-driven voice have propelled him to the upper reaches of the Blues-Rock
As a youngster, he enjoyed picking out notes on the guitar, but he grew up playing drums in local rock bands and in the mid-'70s legendary bluesman Albert Collins, offered Montoya a gig as his drummer. Collins took an immediate liking to Montoya, becoming his mentor and teaching his new protégé secrets of the Collins “icy hot” style of blues guitar. Five years later, British Blues icon John Mayall happened to catch Montoya at a jam session and was blown away. Mayall recruited him as guitarist in the legendary Bluesbreakers and Montoya spent the next 10 years touring non-stop, proving himself to be a world-class guitar master in one of the most renowned blues bands in existence.
Since stepping out as a bandleader in 1993, Coco Montoya has performed
non-stop at clubs, concert halls and major festivals all over the world;
in April 1995 he released "Gotta Mind To Travel", his debut,
which lead to a 1996 nomination for four Blues Music Awards and a win
for Best New Blues Artist.
Montoya's follow-up, 1996's "Ya Think I'd Know Better", showcased a feral blues rocker with vocal skills matched only by his ferocious guitar playing, the album stayed on the Billboard Blues chart for 14 weeks, reaching the #10 position.
Released in September 1997, "Just Let Go", continued to highlight Montoya's steely guitar licks and intense vocals, earning him legions of new fans everywhere he played.
In early 2000, Montoya's Alligator debut, "Suspicion", quickly became the best-selling album to date; the record held the #1 position on the Living Blues radio chart for three straight months and it landed on the Billboard's Top Blues Albums list for 11 weeks in a row, peaking at #10.
Two years later his fifth LP, "Can't Look Back", shot to #2 on the U.S. Blues Albums chart.
There was a lengthy gap before Coco Montoya's next album appeared; "Dirty Deal" came out on Alligator in January 2007.