Coco Montoya

Dirty Deal

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    6
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At times on Dirty Deal, it's virtually a Little Feat reunion, with five members from the classic lineup helping out on "Three Sides to Every Story," giving it a wonderful, funky momentum. Coco Montoya himself is definitely a better-than-average guitarist and singer when it comes to the R&B/blues axis, although he's at his best on tracks like "How Do You Sleep at Night?" where he has the chance to pull more emotion from his instrument; in this case, more than a touch of bitterness. He's cut from the same cloth as Robert Cray, but without the same soulful subtlety. Montoya is more a shot and a beer than a smooth cocktail. You come away from this with the sense that he holds nothing back, and even a performance in the studio would be sweaty; there's that amount of commitment. And while he may not be one of the guitar gods, when he unleashes a flurry of notes (as on "It Takes Time") he's still a powerhouse. Perhaps the biggest problem is that, although he cranks in all departments, there's very little to really distinguish his music from many others mining the same seam.

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