Here'a review of Coco Montoya I did for the Gazette that appeared in their Soundboard section December 13th 2009:
REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY BUTCH LEITZ
“I Need Your Love In My Life” — a rocking number with southern party-blues feel to it featured solid lead guitar work from Montoya. A funky drum intro opened “Women Have A Way With The Blues,” waking the audience up to the fact that Randy Hayes on drums is somebody not to be messed with. Heavy-handed with smoldering blues riffs demonstrated Montoya’s background as an Albert Collins protégé. The notes were tight and succinct with little of the tonal clutter characteristic of less-worthy guitar players masking over their deficiencies.
Since every review and biography I’ve ever read makes a big stinking deal about how the left-handed Montoya plays his guitar upside down (literally: a right handed neck strung for a righty turned over on a lefty strat body so the bass strings are at the bottom instead of the top), I’m not going to dwell on it. I think watching a blond woman in the crowd of dancers slow dancing with a post kind of said it all!
A boogie-woogie organ solo from Leeper opened “Tumbleweed,” adding in turn some heavy drums from Hayes, thundering bass from Nate Brown, and Montoya grinding out some heavy swinging blues riffs over it all had everybody eating out their hands. At the next song break, while we had already had a few interruptions from one fan shouting out song titles, now everything stopped while Montoya had a back-and-forth with them about them being annoying. After a few protracted moments, Montoya responded the best way he could by just grinding ferociously through the next couple songs totally blowing away the weird vibe that arose during the pause.
After a set break, Montoya played an amusing song featuring little guitar riffs made to sound like what you’d hear through the walls in a cheap motel while a husband and wife argued. Everybody was still laughing while the band churned into a heavy version of “Just Like Me” and through a couple more numbers. The big finish was Albert Collins “Put The Shoe On The Other Foot” used as the basis for an extended jam featuring a jazzy bass solo by Nate Brown and a thundering drum solo by Randy Hayes adding some more searing blues work by Montoya to close out the night.
All-in-all, a great night for fans lucky enough to get a ticket on the Coco Montoya blues train.