Just Let Go by Coco Montoya
Description of Just Let Go by Coco Montoya
Released by Blind Pig
Available in Audio CD format
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It was Albert Collins who hired Coco Montoya as a drummer in 1972 and then taught the young Californian how to play guitar during their five years on the road together. On his third solo album, Just Let Go, Montoya pays tribute to his mentor with a smoldering version of Collins's slow blues, "Do What You Want to Do." You can hear Collins's influence in Montoya's gruff bellowing and screaming guitar phrases, but you can also hear the effect of two other Collins disciples, Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan. Stevie Ray's former producer, Jim Gaines, produced Just Let Go and gave it the rocking rhythms and Memphis-soul inflections that marked the Vaughan brothers' work.
Montoya isn't as stunning a guitarist as the Vaughans, but he's a better singer, and the album works best when Montoya shies away from the guitar fireworks and marries a catchy R&B chorus to a blues-rock groove, much like Jimmie Vaughan's old band, the Fabulous Thunderbirds. The title track, cowritten by Montoya and David Steen, opens with an ear-grabbing guitar lick that resembles a Memphis horn riff and then jumps into a snappy pop-soul number. The Cate Brothers join Montoya on Steen's Stax-flavored "Give It to a Good Man," and former Little Feat singer Shaun Murphy joins the leader for a duet on Steen's bouncy "Nothing's Too Good for My Baby." The results resemble Delbert McClinton more than Collins, and that's just fine. --Geoffrey Himes