Songs From The Road
Provogue / Mascot
A good value double-CD set in this now renowned canon of live recordings from artists on this label. Montoya is a character, full of stories and insights and as a performer just as strong a vocalist as he is a dextrous six-stringer. Watching him play ‘flipped’ is something of a mind-bender for those of us who play guitar with picking hand on the right, something akin to seeing the late Albert Collins on stage, given the latter’s open F minor tuning quirk.
Collins of course was an employer of Coco’s, even before his stint with John Mayall when his guitar foil was Walter Trout and that stinging Albert sound has been inherited by Montoya and taken further. Coco’s vocal style is as blues as it is soul / Motown and his choruses are catchy as hell. On these selections the band cook up a Hammond-rich punchy stew of a sound, going with the many light & shade moments that pepper the setlist, I say setlist, he only plans three or four numbers then goes with the moment.
Try ‘I Got A Mind To Travel’ for bravura axework, or ‘Love Jail’ for electric grit ; ‘I Need Your Love I My Life’ has dignified emphasis and exquisite singing. ‘You’d Think I’d know Better By Now’ rocks a rueful mood. A spirited show, well-recorded here