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.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Chris Nickson