Coco Montoya “In a world of blues guitar pretenders, Coco Montoya is the real McCoy. He exudes power and authenticity. Be prepared to get scorched by the real thing.” –Billboard Between his white-hot guitar playing and his soulful, emotional vocals, Coco Montoya has talent to burn. In a career that spans almost four decades, he’s gone from drumming for blues icon Albert Collins to holding the lead guitar spot in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers to leading his own band and touring worldwide.
Montoya is revered for his ability to move from subtly melodic guitar playing to slash-and-burn pyrotechnics. Equally forceful are his deep, soul-baring vocals. Years of constant touring, playing unforgettable shows at clubs, concert halls and festivals, have earned him his position at the top of the contemporary blues world.
Ronnie Baker Brooks Brooks likes to treat each album he makes as a platform for him to grow, but the reality is that he’s been climbing the blues world’s ladder all his life. He started playing guitar around age six. At 19, he joined his father, who by then had influenced some of the most well-known bluesman of our history (Jimmy Reed, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Johnny Winter and Junior Wells). For 12 years the two would tour together, putting Ronnie out front with Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Koko Taylor. In 1998, when he was 32, his father told him to go solo.
Baker already had a band by then, one he’d been touring on the side with since 1992. But by 1998 he’d started a label; that year he made his first album, “Golddigger,” 16 songs tracked out in two weeks. “My dad always said to keep writing, even if you don’t think the song sounds great or you can’t finish it,” says Baker. “Write. Continue to write. The more you write, the better you get.” “Take Me Witcha” came three years later; his second album on Watchdog Records. Brooks broke out as his own champion on 2006’s “The Torch.” The Boston Herald called it “ferocious and unrelenting … the year’s best blues album.”
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