Coco Montoya - The Essential Coco Montoya (Blind Pig Records)
A compilation of cuts from earlier in Montoya's career. Well-worth reprising in a collection, Montoya has a range of styles that keeps the listener moving through a range of emotions. Montoya's expressive guitar work is mixed with aspects of power-rock - on Sending Me Angels, it pulls the heart like violin strings can. Blusier cuts feature good vocals with a bit of a growl, as on Monkey See, Monkey Do. Hip-grinding numbers like Do What You Want to Do will make you believe you've had one too many at the bar, even if you listen to this stone-cold sober. Great release for any occasion - you'll find a lot to like from this artist.
Best cuts: #2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10
http://www.damonfowler.com/music.htm (for samples of songs)
Good finger-pickin' and slide guitar on this CD, the first on Blind Pig for this band from Tampa, Florida. Influences are very true to the Delta, with some fine playing. Vocals are clean and pure, and of a higher pitch than downhome or Chicago Bluesmen, but he encompasses a wide range of tempos and styles. Three covers, including the country-rock Third Rate Romance are included, but the best work here are the original cuts.
Best: 1, 3, 4, 6
Roy Rogers - Split Decision (Blind Pig Records)