Coco Montoya

Wednesday, March 12, at the Winchester, Lakewood.

Coco Montoya blues Eric Clapton

Los Angeles-based guitarist Montoya spent two decades playing with blues legends Albert Collins and John Mayall. He started out as a rock drummer. But then he met Collins, who, in 1972, introduced Montoya to the blues and taught the youngster some guitar licks. By the early '80s, Montoya's skills impressed Mayall so much that the British blues king tapped him to play lead in his reformed Bluesbreakers (the band where Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green, and the Stones' Mick Taylor cut their teeth). Montoya went solo about a decade ago and has been touring and releasing a steady stream of albums ever since. Onstage, he's a laid-back performer, playing fluidly but with little flash. He's also become quite a soulful singer over the years. But don't let that placidity fool you: He smokes.

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