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Coco Montoya
Last Dirty Deal

Alligator Records
Run Time: 50:47

Born out of the LA rock scene of the late seventies but baptized in touring and learning from the Master of the Telecaster and the icon of British Blues, Coco Montoya keeps contemporary blues from straying too far away from home. On his latest disc Dirty Deal, his second for Alligator, Coco shows us his fiery left-handed guitar still in stride and giving no hint of letting up.

The burning opener and title track to the album is sure to be a rock favorite for AAA radio. The hard crunch and the impassioned vocals throughout the track are unique, powerful, and hearken a little to days gone by in blues-rock. Plus, that opening riff is off the wall crazy-good!

Montoya slows it up but doesn’t let up on energy on the rhumba-infused John Mooney cover “Three Sides to Every Story” and shows some funky-blues licks over top of the solid back beat of Steve Evans (bass) and Randy Hayes(drums).

You know Montoya hasn’t strayed too far from his influences on the Texas-burnt shuffle of “It Takes Time,” in which Montoya seems to conjure the late Albert Collins (his guitar teacher and longtime friend) straight up from days gone by. The chicken pecking and riffs are straight out of the Collins songbook, giving a lasting tribute for years to come, as Montoya almost seems to say thank you while he carries the torch into the next decades. It’s almost spooky because it’s almost Albert but not quite, and you’ll like it.

Montoya shows he’s no slouch on vocals as he pours out his heart on the Johnny Copeland “It’s My Own Tears.” Montoya can also give some catchy and bring smile to your face lyrics with the tongue in cheek lyrics of “Coin Operated Love” once again in the blues-rock vein of Texas.

This is one of the best if not the best blues-rock release I’ve heard in the past 3 years. Montoya is constantly reinventing the genre because he’s not a clone of anyone but yet still stays true to his influences as shown by the covers on the disc and the guitars sounds. If you like guitar-heavy blues-rock, this is the benchmark for what should be going on today in all blues-rock circles. And, it’s safe to say, the guy’s not a bad singer either. Most of the time you get one or the other, but Montoya gives you passionate vocals and brilliant guitar. How can you go wrong with this dirty deal?

 Check out Coco on the web at or on MySpace. This album is available at all major record outlets.

Ben Cox is a Blues Songwriter, Musician, DJ and Journalist.

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