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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Women Have A Way With The Blues - Coco Montoya

Coco Montoya (born Henry Montoya, October 2, 1951, Santa Monica, California) is an American blues guitarist and former member of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers.
Montoya's career began in the mid 1970s when Albert Collins asked him to join his band as drummer. Collins took Montoya under his wing and taught him his "icy hot" guitar style. The two remained friends even after Montoya left Collins' band.

In the early 1980s John Mayall heard Montoya playing guitar in a Los Angeles bar. Soon after Mayall asked Montoya to join the newly reformed Bluesbreakers. He remained a member of the band for 10 years.
Montoya is left-handed but plays "upside-down right-handed" guitar. In other words he can play a guitar strung for right-handed playing, with bass strings at the upper edge of the fretboard and treble strings at the lower edge, rotating the guitar so he stops the strings with his right-hand and picks them with his left hand. Thus for him the treble strings are at the upper edge, and the bass strings are at the lower edge. Few other blues guitarists play their guitars left-handed and strung differently, although two exception would be Doyle Bramhall II and Albert King. This contrasts with the style of fellow left-handers Jimi Hendrix and Tony Iommi, amongst others, whose guitars are re-strung for left-handers or who just play left-handed guitars without restringing (which is of course nowadays a bit easier because of enough left-handed guitars available).

Most current pictures of Montoya playing show him with a guitar such as a Fender Stratocaster, with a left-handed body (a mirror image of the right-handed body), a neck and headstock typical of a right-handed Stratocaster, so the tuners are on the bottom edge for him, and the strings arranged "upside-down" relative to the left-handed body.
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