Coco Montoya paid his dues in the blues biz, first as a sideman for Albert Collins followed by a 10-year stint as guitarist with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. That hard work has paid off over the last several years, as Montoya has become one of the hottest blues acts on the planet.
Just Let Go, the southpaw guitarist's third album in as many years for Blind Pig Records, is just as nice as his previous efforts. The disc gets underway with a solid cover of Robert Ward's "Fear No Evil." Montoya's previous albums have always contained songs with plenty of hooks, and the one to catch you on this CD is "My Side Of The Fence," which features some blistering guitar solos.
Montoya's guitar prowess is also put on display on the jumpin' instrumental "Cool Like Dat." I've always maintained that nothing can showcase a good blues guitarist like a slow, sweaty blues --- "Do What You Want To Do" and "Never Seen You Cry This Way Before" are the two cuts here meeting this criteria.
The Cate Brothers add nice accompanying vocals on "Give It To A Good Man," while Little Feat's Shaun Murphy joins in on the soulful "Nothing's Too Good For My Baby."
If you think of Montoya as merely a good guitarist, then be sure to listen to his stirring vocal work on the gospel-like "Sending Me Angels." No one-dimensional performer is this cat!
As with Montoya's previous Blind Pig releases, Just Let Go will undoubtedly make most of the "top ten" lists at the end of '97. A definite "buy" recommendation!
- Bill Mitchell
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