I Want It All Back

Coco Montoya

Coco Montoya performs Sun., April 18, 7:30 p.m., at the Big Room.

Guitarist Coco Montoya got his start some 30 years ago playing drums in Albert Collins’ band. He next played guitar with John Mayall’s Blues Breakers for 10 years before striking out on his own in 1995 with a series of CDs for the Blind Pig and then Alligator record labels on which he’s been expanding his musical base beyond the blues. On this disc, his first for the German Ruf Records label, Montoya goes even further afield from the blues. Saying, “[P]eople know where I’m at with the guitar, but here the vocals are being concentrated on,” adding that, “there will certainly be guitar.” Mighty fine guitar, too! With producer Keb’ Mo’ alongside on rhythm guitar and Jeff Paris, the other producer, on keyboards, Montoya works his way through 10 pleasant pop items and one blues—a plodding interpretation of Buster Brown’s “Fannie Mae.” Even with harpist Rod Piazza and pianist Honey Alexander on board, the song is an affront to the energetic spirit of the original. Much meatier is his own “Don’t Go Makin’ Plans.” Set to a gritty rhythm with Paris’ B-3 underpinning the mix, Montoya rasps, “I love the way you make me feel, slow down girl and keep it real.” A real treat for fans.