Coco Montoya – Writing On The Wall: Album Review

Alligator Records do not abandon blues veterans in preference for contemporary artists. They recognise quality and it’s never  higher with Coco Montoya’s first soulful blues album for 4 years

Release date:  1st September 2023

Label:  Alligator Records

Format: CD / vinyl / streaming

Blues music is like a vintage wine, it matures and gets better with age. This album is the musical equivalent. As one of the longest-running members of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and tutored on guitar by Albert Collins has built on a wonderful foundation. This album is a tutorial on how to play the blues; the passion oozing out of the guitar solo on Stop is almost tear-jerking but the array of blues guitar styles on the whole album from solid rock, soaring solos and chugging riffs that lift the soul and warm the heart.

These beautifully crafted songs from an accomplished songwriter cover nearly every situation arising in romantic relationships, good loving gone or going bad, the inspirational and the long lost passion, and a little gambling thrown in too. But whatever the mood this is an amazing collection of uplifting blues, that may be a misnomer but every song hits a poignant spot you can all relate to. 

The opening track, the mournful Baby I Was Wrong, which has been selected as a single, leads on to the lively but soulful  Save It For The Next  Fool. The jaunty You Got Me raises the tempo, as live but mellower Bad Doin About it keeps the foot tapping. Be Good To Yourself is a throwback to his blues breaker days. As we reach halfway we see the versatility of Coco’s songwriting and the second half is just as diverse.

Ballads and rockers surround the energetic Chip And Chair with its stinging solos and rocky riffs. Coco and partner Ronnie swap tales about their ladies who aren’t living up to expectations with some effective harmonies on Baby, You’re A Drag . The pace drops on the jazzy The Three Kings and Me but rocks up again for the final track Natural Born Love Machine.

Coco is musically a young head on old shoulders using every ounce of his experience to keep his music fresh and exciting.

Coco Montoya online: Website / Facebook / Youtube / Bandcamp

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