Coco & the Kid
Coco Montoya Live
- The New Lafayette Club,
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Coco Montoya is a staple of the blues-rock
community today. His howling croon and scorching guitar attacks are known to
all who are involved in the contemporary blues community, and if you don’t
know him you should.
Coco brought his new material and the band
from his latest album to the New Lafayette Club this past Saturday, Coco and
his band would need a little luck for the evening. Even the most road-tested
musician has bad nights, and it almost turned into one, but a 12-year old
local guitar phenomenon helped to swing things around.
Montoya and company went on stage around
eight o’clock and instantly some trouble started with some technical issues
with the sound. Things like this happen all the time and they usually work
themselves out. However, in live music, you never know what’s going to
happen next whether you’re a musician or a fan in the crowd.
Coco, being the fantastic fellow he was,
laughed his way through it for about the first 15 minutes but soon became a
little displeased. You could tell he wanted to give the fans what they
wanted. Playing two songs off of his latest disc, the title track “Last
Dirty Deal” and the Texas groove shuffle of “Coin Operated Love,” Montoya
and company seemed to be working their way through things.
Then, as sometimes things happen, on a
cover of his former band leader John Mayall, Montoya’s high G-string on his
guitar slipped and he couldn’t hit the last note of the song. Obviously
frustrated, Montoya decided to pay tribute to some of his late friends Jeff
Healey and Buddy Miles, and did so with some of the most heartfelt lyrics on
“Nothing But Love.” It was midway in on his next song “The Heart of Soul”
from his second album that something went terribly wrong. Coco had melted
the amp to the PA!
After twenty minutes, the band returned to
the stage and charged full steam ahead into the rest of the show. Coco’s
performance seemed a little flat to me but, the crowd danced and cheered and
wanted more after the band left the stage for a second time, and they got
Twelve-year old guitarist Matt Curry was
asked to the stage to finish the evening with the band, and as the young man
tore into the first few bars of Coco’s “It Takes Time,” the elder statesmen
to the blues demeanor changed completely. A huge smile spread across Coco
and everyone else’s face in the entire place. The next three songs and the
next 30 minutes were pure joy as the young man brought the house down as he
and Montoya traded licks back and forth.
Montoya asked the crowd on more
than one occasion, “Do you like that?” And they only responded with more!
Montoya also sagely labeled the young man on the baby blue Stratocaster as
“the future.” Montoya and the rest of the 200 people he were in the
Lafayette Club on Saturday night seemed to be more than pleased with that
idea of things to come.
Reviewer Ben Cox is a Blues Songwriter, Musician, DJ and Journalist.