One of the most respected artists in blues, Coco Montoya will appear at the penultimate Bluesdays in The Village at Squaw Valley for the second-straight summer.
Montoya is a graduate of the school of Albert. He plays guitar like Albert King, left-handed and upside down, but his tone sounds like Albert Collins. Montoya played drums and toured with Collins for nearly five years going broke leaving the music profession for a while. “I was quite upset,” he said. “I didn’t want to leave the party but I had to take care of things.”
He returned to music as a guitar player with John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers. During breaks from that band, Montoya often would connect with Collins. “I’d come back, wash my clothes find out where Albert was and fly out there. I always had an amp on his bus. I played rhythm and would just hang out. Sometimes at the places I had just played.”
The liner credits on his 2017 album, “Hard Truth,” read like a who’s who of blues artists. It was produced by Tony Braunagel, mixed by John Porter and the musicians include Mike Finnigan, Johnny Lee Schell, Bob Glaub, who, like Montoya, attended Venice High School
“You’ve got to come up with a goods when you’ve got these kind of guys because they’re not screwing around,” Montoya told Tahoe Onstage before last year’s show.
The free show starts at 6 p.m. and goes until 8:30 p.m.