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Coco Montoya - Coming In Hot

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Coming In Hot

Coco Montoya

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Two years after guitar slinger Coco Montoya returned to Chicago's Alligator label for Hard Truth, he follows with Coming in Hot. Montoya is one of the most prodigious and gifted electric bluesmen on the planet. He is a double threat as a deeply soulful singer and incendiary guitarist. Coming in Hot offers a kindred lineup to the one who knocked 2017's Hard Truth out of the park. Produced by drummer Tony Braunagel and engineered by Johnny Lee Schell (who helms the rhythm guitar chair on all but three tracks where Billy Watts guests), it also includes Mike Finnigan on keyboards, and bassist Bob Glaub on seven cuts (Mike Mennell sits in on the other four). The title number was co-composed by Montoya and Dave Steen, leading a compelling set of covers by Frankie Miller, Albert Collins, Warren Haynes, and the Phantom Blues Band, among others, including a reprise solo performance of "Witness Protection" originally cut by Allison August on her 2016 debut, Holy Water, with Montoya as a duet partner. Diversity is the key as rockin' electric blues, vintage jump, and R&B-flavored jams showcase Montoya the singer -- he has become a true stylist over the last decade -- as much as they do as the powerhouse guitarist. Opener "Good Man Gone," by Tom Hambridge and Richard Fleming, is an up-tempo R&B-drenched blues, with Montoya shimmying along a taut groove backed by Kudisan Kai and Maxann Lewis on backing vocals as his stinging guitar adds ballast. Pianist Jon Cleary guests on the title cut (though he isn't mixed nearly loud enough) with a punchy, Chicago-style vamp; guitars are on stun, with Montoya's distorted fills and screaming solo matching the punched-up beat. "Stop Runnin' Away from My Love" is a souled-out nighttime shuffle with Finnigan dropping meaty chord voicings on a Wurlitzer in support of Montoya's stellar vocal, while his fills and vamps push him deep into the lyrics. The guitarist revives Collins' slow-burning "Lights Are on But Nobody's Home," with a snaky set of fills underscoring the emotion in his singing. There is room for the atypical too. Montoya's reading of Haynes' Americana-esque soul in "What Am I?" recalls the Allman Brothers, while Miller's classic "Trouble" offers a more electric arrangement in doing justice to the original. This take on "Witness Protection" is spookier, edgier, and rawer than the version with August. As a whole, Coming in Hot is full of surprises, from the terrific song selection and inspired performances to uncharacteristically warm production and Montoya's seemingly endless penchant for invention. In sum then, after 40 years, this album registers with his best as a bandleader.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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Coming In Hot

Coco Montoya

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1
Good Man Gone
00:03:48

Tony Braunagel, Producer - JOHN PORTER, Mixer - Richard Fleming, Composer, Lyricist - Tom Hambridge, Composer, Lyricist - Coco Montoya, MainArtist - tom Hambridge Tunes, MusicPublisher - Richard Fleming Music, MusicPublisher

2019 Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc. 2019 Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc.

2
Coming In Hot
00:03:25

Tony Braunagel, Producer - JOHN PORTER, Mixer - Coco Montoya, Composer, Lyricist, MainArtist - Dave Steen, Composer, Lyricist - Mr. Squiggles Music admin. by Eyeball Music, MusicPublisher - Latersville Music, MusicPublisher

2019 Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc. 2019 Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc.

3
Stop Runnin' Away From My Love
00:05:12

Jeff Paris, Composer, Lyricist - Tony Braunagel, Producer - JOHN PORTER, Mixer - Coco Montoya, MainArtist - Jeff Paris Music admin. by Wixen Music, MusicPublisher

2019 Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc. 2019 Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc.

4
Lights Are On But Nobody's Home
00:06:56

Tony Braunagel, Producer - Albert Collins, Composer, Lyricist - JOHN PORTER, Mixer - Coco Montoya, MainArtist - Eyeball Music, MusicPublisher

2019 Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc. 2019 Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc.

5
Stone Survivor
00:03:54

Tony Braunagel, Producer - JOHN PORTER, Mixer - Coco Montoya, MainArtist - David Egan, Composer, Lyricist - Jasben Music admin. by Pacific Electric Music, MusicPublisher

2019 Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc. 2019 Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc.

6
What Am I?
00:04:10

Warren Haynes, Composer, Lyricist - Tony Braunagel, Producer - JOHN PORTER, Mixer - Johnny Neel, Composer, Lyricist - Coco Montoya, MainArtist - Bob-A-Lew Songs, MusicPublisher - Buzzard Rock Music, LLC admin. by Songs of Atlas Music Group, MusicPublisher

2019 Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc. 2019 Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc.

7
Ain't It A Good Thing
00:03:48

Tony Braunagel, Producer - JOHN PORTER, Mixer - DON ROBEY, Composer, Lyricist - Songs Of Universal, MusicPublisher - Coco Montoya, MainArtist

2019 Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc. 2019 Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc.

8
I Wouldn't Wanna Be You
00:04:39

Randy Sharp, Composer, Lyricist - Tony Braunagel, Producer - JOHN PORTER, Mixer - Jeff Silbar, Composer, Lyricist - Coco Montoya, MainArtist - EMI Longitude Music Co., BMI/Universal-MCA Music, MusicPublisher

2019 Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc. 2019 Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc.

9
Trouble
00:04:00

Tony Braunagel, Producer - JOHN PORTER, Mixer - Frankie Miller, Composer, Lyricist - Coco Montoya, MainArtist - BMG Monarch admin. by BMG Rights Management, MusicPublisher

2019 Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc. 2019 Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc.

10
Witness Protection
00:04:12

Tony Braunagel, Producer - JOHN PORTER, Mixer - Coco Montoya, MainArtist - Neoma Allison, Composer, Lyricist - August 8 Music, MusicPublisher

2019 Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc. 2019 Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc.

11
Water To Wine
00:04:49

Tony Braunagel, Producer - JOHN PORTER, Mixer - Coco Montoya, MainArtist - Gregory Washington, Composer, Lyricist - Closed Session Publ., MusicPublisher

2019 Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc. 2019 Alligator Records & Artist Management, Inc.

Album Description

Two years after guitar slinger Coco Montoya returned to Chicago's Alligator label for Hard Truth, he follows with Coming in Hot. Montoya is one of the most prodigious and gifted electric bluesmen on the planet. He is a double threat as a deeply soulful singer and incendiary guitarist. Coming in Hot offers a kindred lineup to the one who knocked 2017's Hard Truth out of the park. Produced by drummer Tony Braunagel and engineered by Johnny Lee Schell (who helms the rhythm guitar chair on all but three tracks where Billy Watts guests), it also includes Mike Finnigan on keyboards, and bassist Bob Glaub on seven cuts (Mike Mennell sits in on the other four). The title number was co-composed by Montoya and Dave Steen, leading a compelling set of covers by Frankie Miller, Albert Collins, Warren Haynes, and the Phantom Blues Band, among others, including a reprise solo performance of "Witness Protection" originally cut by Allison August on her 2016 debut, Holy Water, with Montoya as a duet partner. Diversity is the key as rockin' electric blues, vintage jump, and R&B-flavored jams showcase Montoya the singer -- he has become a true stylist over the last decade -- as much as they do as the powerhouse guitarist. Opener "Good Man Gone," by Tom Hambridge and Richard Fleming, is an up-tempo R&B-drenched blues, with Montoya shimmying along a taut groove backed by Kudisan Kai and Maxann Lewis on backing vocals as his stinging guitar adds ballast. Pianist Jon Cleary guests on the title cut (though he isn't mixed nearly loud enough) with a punchy, Chicago-style vamp; guitars are on stun, with Montoya's distorted fills and screaming solo matching the punched-up beat. "Stop Runnin' Away from My Love" is a souled-out nighttime shuffle with Finnigan dropping meaty chord voicings on a Wurlitzer in support of Montoya's stellar vocal, while his fills and vamps push him deep into the lyrics. The guitarist revives Collins' slow-burning "Lights Are on But Nobody's Home," with a snaky set of fills underscoring the emotion in his singing. There is room for the atypical too. Montoya's reading of Haynes' Americana-esque soul in "What Am I?" recalls the Allman Brothers, while Miller's classic "Trouble" offers a more electric arrangement in doing justice to the original. This take on "Witness Protection" is spookier, edgier, and rawer than the version with August. As a whole, Coming in Hot is full of surprises, from the terrific song selection and inspired performances to uncharacteristically warm production and Montoya's seemingly endless penchant for invention. In sum then, after 40 years, this album registers with his best as a bandleader.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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