Coco Montoya review…August 11, 2014…

COCO MONTOYA

SONGS FROM THE ROAD

RUF RECORDS 1203

DISC ONE—I GOT A MIND TO TRAVEL–HEY SENORITA–TOO MUCH WATER–THE ONE WHO REALLY LOVES YOU–LOVE JAIL–DON’T GO MAKIN’ PLANS–I WISH I COULD BE THAT STRONG

DISC TWO—FANNIE MAE–I NEED YOUR LOVE IN MY LIFE–GOOD DAYS, BAD DAYS–I WANT IT ALL BACK–I WON’T BEG–YOU THINK I’D KNOW BETTER BY NOW–MY SIDE OF THE FENCE

Coco Montoya has played with Albert Collins, and spent ten years with Walter Trout as a member of John Mayall’s re-formed Bluesbreakers.  He’d done just about everything a bluesman could do, except to have a live album.  That oversight has now been corrected with Ruf Records’ release of “Songs From The Road.”  Coco turns in fourteen of his most storied songs over two CD’s, that trace his career thru his stints with the Blind Pig, Alligator, and Ruf Records labels.

The concert took place on August 17 and 18, 2013, at the Triple Door club in Seattle, WA.   Adding to the vibe is venerable producer Jim Gaines, as well as a world-class backing band, including Brant Leeper on keys, Nathan Brown on bass, and Rena Beavers on drums.  The crowd was really into it, and Coco just plugged in and took off on a cool blues journey.

The party starts with one of our all-time favorites, Albert Collins’ “I Got A Mind To Travel.” A love affair struggling to stay afloat suffers from a lack of trust on both sides on the poignant  “Too Much Water under the bridge.”  One of Coco’s coolest songs has him “sittin’ in your Love Jail with no chance of bail!”  The first set closes with the powerful ode to seeking a second chance, “I Wish I Could Be That Strong.”

The second set opens with a stripped-down version of “Fannie Mae,” done over a sweet, loping stride.  Coco goes into some deep soul-blues with extended versions of “I Want It All Back” and “I Won’t Beg,” before closing with another Fifties-inspired blueser, “My Side Of The Fence.”

This set also contains a blistering fifteen-minute version of our favorite of all Coco’s songs.  “Good Days, Bad Days” is the story of a man coping with a painful break-up, altho it fits most any situation that finds one dealing with tough times.  Everyone gets a solo here, and this one was, at least for us, tthe set’s tour-de-force.

Coco Montoya still brings the heat as a bandleader, guitarist, and singer, and had a lot of fun with “Songs From The Road.”  Enjoy a great bluesman at the top of his game!!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society.

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