"Blistering contemporary blues...piercing attack, funky, shivery guitar tones and aggressive, soulful vocals" - Blues Revue
"In a world of blues guitar pretenders, Coco Montoya is the real McCoy. Be prepared to get scorched." - Billboard
Over the course of his 30-year career, guitarist and vocalist Coco Montoya's explosive guitar playing and soul-driven voice have propelled him to the upper reaches of the blues-rock world. From his early days as a drummer to his current status as one of the top-drawing guitarists and vocalists on the blues-rock scene, Montoya has forged his reputation through years of hard work and constant touring. And it all started with a chance meeting in the mid-1970s with legendary bluesman Albert Collins, who offered Montoya a gig as his drummer. Albert 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, John Mayall happened to catch Montoya at a jam session and was blown away. This led to Montoya's touring the world for ten years with the legendary Bluesbreakers. Since stepping out as a bandleader in 1993, Montoya has released four solo albums and has performed non-stop at clubs, concert halls and major festivals all over the world. At every show, fans' jaws dropped, and critics raved about Montoya's mind-bending guitar licks and impassioned vocals. "The fiery blues that issue forth from Coco Montoya's guitar are awe-inspiring and boogie requiring," shouted The Village Voice. "Blistering, pure blues," cheered Blues Revue. Now, with Can't Look Back (AL 4885), Montoya turns up the intensity with another dose of his feral, soul-stirring music.
On Can't Look Back, Montoya once again uses blues as a blasting off point for his rock solid, groove-laden music. With his icy hot guitar playing and his soulful, unaffected vocals, Montoya attacks each of the 13 songs with deep feeling and ferocious energy. Produced by Jim Gaines (Luther Allison, Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan), every song on Can't Look Back (includingfive Montoya originals) burns from start to finish. From the scorching Wish I Could Be That Strong to the grooves and passion of Trip, Stumble And Fall to the ear-catching Can't Look Back to the reinvention of Albert Collins' Same Old Thing, Montoya brings all the unbridled force of his acclaimed live shows into the studio for a foot-stomping, guitar-fueled ride.
Coco Montoya was born in Santa Monica, California in 1951 and raised by working class parents with a large record collection. As a youngster, he enjoyed picking out notes on the guitar, but he grew up playing drums in local rock bands. In 1969, Montoya saw Albert King opening up a Creedence Clearwater Revival/Iron Butterfly concert and was transformed. "After Albert got done playing," says Montoya, "my life was changed. When he played, the music went right into my soul. It grabbed me so emotionally that I had tears welling up in my eyes. Nothing had ever affected me to this level. He showed me what music and guitar playingwere all about. I knew that was what I wanted to do."