- Coco Montoya
As generations pass, blues music survives more and more in hybridized forms with rock or soul, rather than played straight-up. While this trend may displease some purists, artists such as guitarist-vocalist Coco Montoya have thrived in this mixed atmosphere.
Since ending a 10-year stint with John Mayall in the early '90s, this disciple of the Alberts -- Collins and King -- has amassed a respectable solo catalog showcasing a playing style marked by his heroes, but with lots of bare-knuckle rock and roll, and brawny, soulful vocals woven in.
Robert Cray fans should take special note: On Montoya's latest, Can't Look Back, he spends a good deal of time trolling in the murky, lovelorn waters where one usually finds Cray. Blues fans, dive in.