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Another solid album

Dirty Deal
Dirty Deal
By Coco Montoya

Alligator Records: 2007

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This review first appeared in Turbula in April 2007.

Bluesman Coco Montoya has risen to near the top of the guitar-slingers heap through endless touring, enthusiastic showmanship and a series of accessible, blues-rock hybrid albums on Blind Pig and Alligator.

His newest Alligator release, "Dirty Deal," is consistent with his earlier solo releases: Guitar-based electric blues with enough rock influences to tempt crossover fans still missing Stevie Ray Vaughan.

A confident and warm singer, Montoya's signature is his Albert Collins-influenced solos – no doubt picked up while Collins' drummer in the Ice Breakers for five years in the '70s. No surprise that all 11 tracks here (including two from his own pen) all include plenty of said solos. Nothing earth-shattering or revolutionary – just tasteful, imaginative licks to hold the attention of any guitar or blues fan.

With covers of Lowell Fulson, Johnny "Clyde" Copeland and Otis Rush, and backed by a stellar combo that includes most of producer Paul Barrere's old Little Feat bandmates, "Dirty Deal" is a solid listen start to finish.