Coco Montoya will stir it up at Squaw Valley’s Bluesdays

Clare Foster / Tahoe Onstage

Coco Montoya is coming back to Bluesdays for the third straight year.
Clare Foster / Tahoe Onstage

How about a triple shot of hot Coco?

The incomparable Coco Montoya makes his third Bluesdays appearance in as many years on Tuesday at The Village at Squaw Valley.

He will be warming up for an overflowing fall tour in support of “Coming In Hot,” his fifth release on Alligator Records. The album will be released Friday, Aug. 23. Montoya has at least 45 shows booked this autumn.

With so many dates, it must be difficult to keep track of them all. Tahoe Onstage broke the news to Montoya last winter that he would return to Bluesdays.

“That’s great,” he said. “It always seems to be very well attended. It’s really, really wonderful. I’m very grateful to come three years in a row.”

Montoya drew the largest audience of the season last summer. This year’s greatest turnout came last week for Danielle Nicole.

In the tradition of Albert King and Otis Rush, Montoya plays guitar left-handed and upside down. King was the first blues player he ever saw live. It was a show in the Shrine Auditorium at Los Angeles that included Creedence Clearwater Revival and Iron Butterfly.

“It was a revelation to have this man come out between those two bands in a shiny suit and patent leather shoes,” Montoya said. “It completely changed my perspective of what music is all about. It changed everything because it was coming from such an emotional place. Everything I gravitate to is what affected me emotionally. After I saw Albert King, that was it. I never looked back.”

Montoya started his career as a drummer for Albert Collins, who was a mentor. Eventually, Montoya moved to rhythm guitar. Then he was recruited to join John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. He released the first of his 10 solo albums in 1993.

But Bluesdays fans already know all of this. The point here is to get to Squaw Valley early. You don’t want to miss this party.

— Tim Parsons

Related story: “Comin’ In Hot’ could be blues album of the year.

About Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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