Coco Montoya at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
212-997-4144 www.bbkingblues.com Ages: Teen, Adult $20 advance, $25 day of show
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Over the course of his almost 40-year career, guitarist and vocalist Coco Montoya's explosive guitar playing and soul-driven voice have propelled him to the upper reaches of the blues-rock world. From his early days as a drummer to his current status as one of the top-drawing guitarists and vocalists on the blues-rock scene, Montoya has forged his reputation through years of hard work and constant touring. And it all started with a chance meeting in the mid-1970s with legendary bluesman Albert Collins, who offered Montoya a gig as his drummer. Collins took an immediate liking to Montoya, becoming his mentor and teaching his new protege secrets of the Collins "icy hot" style of blues guitar. Five years later, John Mayall happened to catch Montoya at a jam session and was blown away. As a result, Montoya spent 10 years touring the world with the legendary Bluesbreakers.
After three records with Mayall as a member of the Bluesbreakers, Montoya decided in 1993 it was time to take the lessons from his two musical fathers and begin to sculpt a solo career. In the early '90s he signed to Blind Pig Records and released three critically acclaimed discs, Gotta Mind To Travel (1995), Ya Think I'd Know Better (1996), and Just Let Go (1997). In the middle of his Blind Pig days, he also received national recognition when he was named the Blues Foundation's Best New Blue Artist at the 1996 Blues Music Awards. In 2000, he took his music up a notch and signed with Alligator Records, the country's top blues label. In his seven years with Alligator, Montoya released three more outstanding records: Suspicion (2000), Can't Look Back (2002), and Dirty Deal (2007).
Today, in 2013, Montoya has found a new home in the old world. Europe's premier blues label, Ruf Records, signed the guitar giant in the late '00s and is poised to bring his sound to a worldwide audience. As Billboard put it, "In a world of blues guitar pretenders, Coco Montoya is the real McCoy. Be prepared to get scorched."
Opening: Alexis P. Suter Band.
Venue Description: A throwback to the fabled days of New York nightclubs, B.B. King Blues Club & Grill features top-caliber music stars and an American Continental menu with a Southern flair. The Showcase Room has video screens and state-of-the-art sound, table seating, a bar where you can snack and listen, and a dance floor. The Beatles Brunch is offered every Saturday at noon (doors at 11am), and doors open for the Gospel Brunch every Sunday at 12:30pm with music at 1:30pm.