Blues musician Coco Montoya will sizzle at the Ute Theater
Blues guitarist and singer brings his searing guitar play and soulful vocals to western Garfield County
With a chill in the air and a cold front settling in on western Colorado, Bluesman Coco Montoya is going to turn up the heat Saturday at the Ute Theater in downtown Rifle.
Fresh out of the studio after finishing his fifth album “Coming in Hot” with Alligator Records, his 10thalbum overall. Montoya is kicking off a fall/winter tour with the third stop in the Colorado River Valley.
Born and raised in southern California, Montoya go his start in music like most musicians playing in bands in junior high and high school.
Montoya is known for his unique left-handed guitar playing style.
“I learned how to play on a right-hand guitar. I taught myself, there wasn’t really anybody there to tell me I was holding the guitar incorrectly,” Montoya said.
“Later on as I progressed, I had guitars made up for me with left-handed bodies and right-handed necks.”
Going on four decades in the business Montoya said the hardest part about making an album is selecting the songs everyone is going to agree on.
“You draw from stories in Life, and just use those as a catalyst to put you in a frame of mind to tell the story as it were,” Montoya said.
“It’s like anything, being all about emotions, whether you feel happy or sad. You can express just about anything you want to express on the emotional level.”
Montoya said he will play some of his new work and some of his classics during his visit to Rifle this Saturday.
Backing Montoya will be renowned musicians including bassists Bob Glaub (who’s performed with Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Jerry Lee Lewis) and Mike Mennell (who’s performed with Jimmy Buffett, John Fogerty), keyboardist Mike Finnigan (who’s performed with Jimi Hendrix, Etta James, Taj Mahal), rhythm guitarists Billy Watts (who’s performed with Eric Burdon) and Johnny Lee Schell (who’s performed with Bonnie Raitt), and Tony Braunagel (who produced the album) on drums.
“My musicians that I have with me are probably the best I’ve ever had in my whole career playing,” Montoya said. “Everybody is really top-notch, and I am really proud of that, I’m very excited about playing with these guys.”
Montoya just celebrated his birthday last week, and although he isn’t as young as he once was, he said he still enjoys playing for his fans.
“As you get older its challenging, I’m turning 68, you just have to keep yourself as fit as you can and rested,” Montoya said. “The inspiration to play is always there, it’s just the travel and the hotel rooms, that can be wearing on you. I’m looking forward to coming out and playing.”
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