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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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Showing posts with label Coco Montoya. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Coco Montoya. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

VizzTone Label Group artist: Deb Ryder - Enjoy The Ride - New Release review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Enjoy The Ride, from Deb Ryder and is has a great feel. Opening with high stepper, A Storm's Coming, Deb Ryder is back sounding as powerful as ever. Johnny Lee Schell and Coco Montoya on lead guitar plays nicely off of the steady beat of Ric Ryder on bass, Mike Finnigan on keys and Tony Braunagel on drums. Exceptional ballad, For The Last Time, is a terrific showcase for Ryder's voice and also features Finnigan on vocal as well with the sweet guitar lead of Montoya. What You Want From Me blends New Orleans feel with pure gospel vocals from Maxanne lewis, Ricky Nelson, Leslie Smith and Kudisan Kai Regalot. Very nice. Got To Let It Go has a real nice BB King style groove featuring Cain and Ryder on a cool vocal duet and slick guitar lead. Sweet Sweet Love has a tight Latin beat with nice piano work by Finnigan and featuring fat guitar riffs by Debbie Davies. Wrapping the release is Red Line featuring the strong harp work of Pieter van Der Pluijm. With Schell on bass and lead guitar, this is a solid closer for a solid release. 

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Moondogg Records artist: Johnny Ray Jones - Feet Back In The Door - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Feet Back In The Door, by Johnny Ray Jones and it's quite good. Opening with title track, Feet Back In The Door, Johnny Ray Jones show strong soul roots with a great rhythm and horn section. His vocals are strong, joined by Mike Finnigan on piano, Hutch Hutchinson on bass, and Tony Braunagel on drums and topped off with Joe Sublett on sax, Darrell Leonard on trumpet and Teresa James on backing vocals. Very nice. I really like the bass work on Come Up And See Me Sometime which really carries Finnigan's organ line and sets a cool stage for Jones to strut. Jones' vocals on High Cost Of Loving and Johnny Lee Schell throws down some stinging blues guitar riffs making this one of my favorites on  the release. Z.Z. Hill's, I'm A Blues Man has a great balance of heavy bass, big brass, snappy drums and warm vocals giving Jones and Schell a wide open slate to sing and play. Very nice. Allen Toussaint's A Certain Girl is always a great track with New Orleans flair, and a real nice sax solo by Sublett. The playful vocal interplay is super. Original track, In The Heart Of The City has a real nice melody and Schell's melodic guitar solo further enhances the radio drive on this track. Wrapping the release is Leon Russell's Hearts Have Turned To Stone. Using classic Leon riffs throughout but with his own signature, Jones closes nicely with smart piano flair from Finnigan, nice vocal highlights by James and tight brass punctuation by Leonard.

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Monday, September 14, 2015

VizzTone Label Group artist: Mitch Woods - Jammin' On The High C's - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Jammin' On The High C's from Mitch Woods' Club 88 recorded live on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise and the talent was really flowing. Opening with Big Mamou, Woods, along with members of Roomful of Blues lays down a full tilt boogie. An excellent trumpet, sax and piano solos on this track make it an excellent opener. Next up is Tain't Nobody's Bizness with a stripped down swing. Victor Wainwright and Julia Magness join in giving a different feel vocally... and great piano work contribute to an excellent track. Classic rocker, Rip It Up features Tommy Castro and he really adds some great rockin' guitar riffs to Woods' piano and vocal talents. Backed by the Roomful of Blues horns this track rocks. Lucky Peterson is featured on vocals on Bright Lights Big City, maintaining much of Jimmy Reeds original feel. Breakin down with a little Zydeco, Dwayne Dopsie brings Jambalaya on accordion and vocal. Woods tickles the ivories adding a real nice touch. Billy Branch brings it on Eyesight To The Blind. A lot of real Chicago feel and great harp work are the key to this track. Nicely executed guitar additions and Woods on piano add to the overall blue feel. Boogie track, I Want You To Be My Baby features Popa Chubby on vocal. Woods does an excellent job of driving the boogie and soloing. Popa throws down some wicked rockabilly riffs on guitar making this track shine bright. Coco Montoya takes the lead on Rock Me Baby which has a bit more of a rock swing/boogie feel. He soloing is intermixed with Woods piano work and crisp. Victor Wainwright is back for a real doozie of a boogie, Wine Spo Dee O Dee. This is easily the shining piano track on the release. Woods holds tight on Broke as he sings the story and pushes the rhythm on piano. With audience participation, this track is a lot of fun. Branch and Montoya are back on Boom Boom. A more laid back swing than the Hook wrote it, Woods keeps the rhythm as Branch and Montoya solo. Popa Chubby is back on Wee Wee Hours and a nice easy boogie. Woods takes a particularly nice piano solo on this track giving way to Popa for a plucky guitar solo of his own. Wrapping the release is a hot, fast paced boogie, Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On featuring Dwayne Dopsie. Cool closer for a fun party release.

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 Not from this release:

Monday, July 27, 2015

Heritage Music BluesFest coming soon August 7-9, 2015, Wheeling, West Virginia

Heritage Music Bluesfest 2015
Main Stage Lineup

·         11:30am - 1:00pm - Taste of the Blues FREE PREVIEW
·         4:00 pm - GATES OPEN
·         5:00 to 6:00 - Eric Gales
·         6:30 to 7:30 - Nikki Hill
·         8:00 to 9:00 - Albert Cummings
·         9:30 to 11:00 - The Lowrider Band

·         12:00 to 1:00 - Randy McQuay - IBC Solo/Duo Winner
·         1:30 to 2:30 - The Gold Magnolias
·         3:00 to 4:00 - Austin Walkin' Cane
·         4:30 to 5:45 - Mike Zito and the Wheel
·         6:15 to 7:30 - Carolyn Wonderland
·         8:00 to 9:15 - John Nemeth's Memphis Grease Party
·         9:45 to 11:00 - Walter Trout

·         12:30 to 1:20 - Gina Sicilia
·         1:50 to 2:40 - Billy The Kid CD release with special guests TBA
·         3:10 to 4:00 - Jason Ricci
·         4:30 to 5:30 - Samantha Fish
·         6:00 to 7:00 - Coco Montoya
·         7:30 to 8:30 - Victor Wainwright and the Wildroots
·         9:00 to 10:30 - Keb' Mo'

Schedule subject to change

Second Stage with local and regional acts, After Jams

Keb' Mo'

Walter Trout

John Nemeth

Nikki Hill

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Excitement Building For 10th Annual Ventura County Blues Festival




             Saturday, April 25, 2015  - 11:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M.

   (MOORPARK, CALIF) - Excitement is building for Southern California’s longest-tenured Blues festival, the 10th Annual Ventura County Blues Festival, taking place Saturday, April 25 on the grounds of beautiful Moorpark College, 7075 Campus Rd. in Moorpark, California. Gates open 10 a.m.; music begins at 11 a.m.

  “The tenth year is truly a year of celebration of this charity event with repeat performers who supported our festival the very first year, in addition to multi-award-winning acts,” says festival founder/Ventura County Blues Society President, Michael John Basowski. “Also new this year: a Second Stage to insure a full day of continuous live music. Proceeds go to the American Cancer Society along with community charities.”

  Scheduled to perform on the Main Stage:  The VCBS All-Stars;  Delgado Brothers; BB Chung King & The Buddaheads; Deanna Bogart; John Nemeth; and the legendary Coco Montoya. The all-new Second Stage features top SoCal talent including Guy Martin Band; Barry G and Grease Fire; Chase Walker Band;  Jim Gustin and Truth Jones; Kelly’s Lot; Crooked Eye; Blues Bullet;  and additional special guests. Also avaialbe that day is a wide array of food vendors, artisans, and much more.

  This year also features a special Benefit Ride for Mickey Jones, longtime VCBF Festival Emcee and the “face” of the festival the previous nine years. The well-liked musician-turned-actor has always been there to lend a hand to help so many in need, and now needs a little help himself. His recent bout with a prolonged illness has taken a toll on his finances. Due to insurance restrictions, the next crucial step of his recovery will be impossible without some outside help.

   The 10th Annual Ventura County Blues Festival is both family-friendly   and affordable; a Pre-Sale ticket amounts to paying less than $2.00 per band! Pre-Sale tickets online are $26.00 (includes $1.00 convenience fee). Tickets are $35.00 at the Gate. All Pre-Sale ticket purchases available for pickup at Will Call - bring Confirmation Email and your ID. An amazing deal is the all-new VIP Experience at $125.00 per ticket (with no additional fees) that includes early festival entry at 9:30 am; your own private shaded seating area with tables and chairs; catered lunch; private bar; private restrooms; (2) drink tickets; (1) event t-shirt; (1) event poster and complimentary bottled water. These VIP tickets will sell out as there are only a limited amount -  now is the time to go online and purchase yours at: Festival Hotline: (805) 501-7122.

  10th Annual Ventura County Blues Festival  - Music Itinerary

11:00AM – 11:45AM  VCBS All Stars: A gathering of top SoCal blues musicians showcasing their talents. Featuring Mikey Mo; Ray Jurique; Sandy Scott; Tommy Marsh; Michael John; Eddie Z; Mark “Pocket” Goldberg;  and many others.


12:00PM – 12:55PM/Delgado Brothers: Driven by fierce independence, unified by family, and fortified by the brotherhood of music, the L.A.-based Delgado Brothers deliver the musical goods with topical anthem-worthy songs complemented by call-to-action lyrics, and East L.A. Soul.

1:10PM – 2:10PM/BB Chung King & The Buddaheads: Grammy- nominated song writer, producer and one of the hottest rockin’ blues guitarists on the planet.  The Buddaheads' songs have been featured in several movies and television shows. Tye put on a live show you will not want to miss!

2:30PM – 3:45PM/Deanna Bogart: Multiple award-winning multi-instrumentalist and multifaceted musician whose fans value the diversity of her genre-free zone.  As a bandleader/singer/songwriter/producer/pianist/sax player, Deanna combines the best of boogie-woogie, contemporary blues, country and jazz into a splendid blend she calls “blusion.”

4:05PM – 5:20PM/John Nemeth: Celebrating six BMA nominations and a new CD titled Memphis Grease, Nemeth is a celebrated electric blues and soul harmonicist, singer, and songwriter. “Classic soul and R&B styles have been revitalized in recent years by a cadre of young and relatively young artists such as James Hunter, Eli “Paperboy” Reed, and Sharon Jones. You can include John Németh on any list of the best of them.” - Nick Cristiano, Philadelphia Inquirer

5:40PM – 7:10PM/Coco Montoya: Legendary guitarist who played the festival during its first year is coming back to celebrate our tenth year. Guitar One Magazine calls Montoya “the hottest southpaw in the blues” and raves about his “master touch and killer tone.” Montoya earned his status through years of hard work and constant touring, starting with a chance meeting in the mid-1970s with legendary bluesman Albert Collins, who offered Montoya a gig as his drummer. Albert took an immediate liking to Montoya, becoming his mentor and teaching his new protégé the secrets of Collins’ “icy hot” style of blues guitar. Five years later, British blues icon John Mayall happened to catch Montoya at a jam session and was blown away. Mayall recruited him as his guitarist in the legendary Bluesbreakers, and Montoya spent the next ten years touring non-stop, proving himself to be a world-class guitar master in one of the most renowned blues bands in existence. Coco and his band will close the festival.

10th Annual Ventura County Blues Festival Media/Photo Passes Available.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Ruf Records artist: Coco Montoya - Songs From The Road - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Songs From The Road, a double live summary of Coco Montoya's work recorded at Seattle's Triple Door venue on August 17 and 19 00f 2013. Opening with I blues rocker, I Got A Mind To Travel, Montoya shows a strong trace of his time spent with Albert "Iceman" Collins. Joined by Brant Leeper on keys, Rena Beavers on drums and Nathan Brown on bass this is a terrific opener. Montoya plays stinging solos and Leeper rides the organ for a nice solo. On Latin influenced blues track, Hey Senorita, Leeper again plays a strong organ solo and Montoya lays down some realy tasty guitar riffs complimenting his strong vocals. Too Much Water has a R&B style and Montoya lays out some of his more stylistic riffs on the release so far. His vocals lend themselves nicely to this Robert Cray style and showing Montoya's versatility. Smokey Robinson's, The One Who Really Loves You, made popular by Mary Wells, is a really nice soul track and Montoya does a really nice job of covering this true soul classic. Stretched into an 8+ minute track, this is one of my favorites of the first set. Love Jail is a real Texas blues with a heavy lope. If you wanna get that strong blues swing, this is it. Open strat, guitar ripping, blues beating track.... Excellent! Don't Go Makin' Plans sets down in a solid funky groove provided by Brown and Beavers. You wanna feel the grip, here it is! Leepers and Montoya both play cool solos on this 11 minute plus extended jam. If you like to hear what they got...this is it! Very nice! Wrapping CD one is I Wish I Could Be That Strong, is a solid R&B track that should definitely garner a lot of blues airwaves. Opening side two is Buster Brown's Fannie Mae, with a serious Texas blues lope. This is likely my favorite track on the release with some of the hottest guitar riffs and strong key work on a very beefy bottom. Excellent! The classic soul track, Good Days' Bad Days is a super ballad and with it's nearly 16 minutes of girth, with a lot of Philly sound. This is my overall favorite song with solid vocals and Buchanan like guitar riffs. Backing vocals by Beavers, Brown and Leeper make you think that you are listening to Darryl Hall or Todd Rundgren but the soulful guitar work of Montoya and nicely articulated piano work of Leeper are distinct and beautiful. A very warm and provoking bass solo from Brown is an extremely nice addition. When you are going to take a soul track and play it out for 15 minutes, you had better have a plan and I can tell you the concert goers were glued to their seats during this super track. Excellent! I Need Your Love In My Life has a Keith Richards like riff as a starter but moving into a R&B style track with strong snare work and sweet vocal harmonies. Again, Montoya takes the strat for a nice ride with rock style riffs. I Want It All Back also has a Richards like feel (which is good cause I like Richards)but Montoya and crew do a strong R&B vocal track again with articulate guitar work making this another track that should get a good amount of airplay. I Won't Beg has a high stepping R&B styling and sets up nicely for a tight guitar solo from Montoya. Hard driving You'd think I'd Know Better By Now has a lot of the northeast swing. A different kind of guitar soloing and tonality on this track sets it aside from the rest of the release. With it's walking bass line and cool vocals, Montoya drives this track, then steps on the throttle and unleashes his guitar fury. Very nice. Wrapping the release is My Side Of The Fence, a 50's style blues ballad. A nice key solo on this track is very cool but when Montoya whips out the slide, his fat tone takes over. A very nice conclusion to a super set of live music.  

If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”