Coco Montoya June 3 (with Eric Sardinas ) $45 and $40

What to Know about Coco—--Lady Luck came knocking 3 times to change Coco Montoya’s life. First, in 1969 when he went to see a Credence Clearwater Revival and Iron Butterfly concert. Blues legend Albert King also played that night and instantly turned  Coco into a blues fan.

The second time Lady Luck knocked was in 1972. Blues heavyweight Albert Collins needed a drummer and Coco was at the right place at the right time to join the tour.  Because of this chance of a lifetime, Coco was able to spend the next five years honing his guitar skills under the eye of Albert Collins.

The third time was in 1983 when John Mayall walked into a bar where Coco was playing and hired Coco as guitarist for the Bluesbreakers, a position formerly held by Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Mick Taylor. Montoya spent 10 years with Mayall  before stepping out on his own. With his first release in 1996, he won ‘Best New Artist’ award and has gone on to release 8 highly-praised, commercially-successful albums. His latest is “Hard Truth’.  Give it a listen and give yourselves a great night out at World Records.

Our first concert at World Records is Saturday, May 6th!

Elvin Bishop- May 6   $45 and $40.

What to know about Elvin–Growing up in the 1940’s on a farm in Iowa with a loving but non-musical family, Elvin seldom heard music as a kid. “This was before TV,” Elvin says, “and on the radio you got a lot of Frank Sinatra and ‘How Much Is That Doggie In the Window’ type of stuff.” The family moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, when Elvin was 10, in 1952. Tulsa was “totally segregated,” says Elvin, “I mean, hard core.” However, “the one thing they couldn’t segregate was the airwaves. When rock and roll started up, in the mid-’50s, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Little Richard showed up on white radio.”

And then, late one night when Elvin was 14 or 15, the atmospheric conditions a little rough, Jimmy Reed’s harmonica came cutting through the static from WLAC in Nashville, and Elvin Bishop’s life was changed. The song was “Honest I Do.” “That piercing harp came through, cutting in like a knife, and I said, ‘Oh, man, that’s it.’ I found out that blues was where the good part of rock and roll was coming from.”

And about that time, he started trying to play guitar. “I wanted to play it from the beginning,” Elvin says. “I kept trying and then quitting it. Hurtin’ my fingers, playing those old pawn-shop guitars with the strings two inches off the fret board. Nobody I knew played.” But he kept after it. “Not being able to dance, and seeing how the musicians did with the girls, and loving the music, I finally stuck with it.”

Hooked on the sounds emerging from the radio, Elvin had to find out where they were coming from and who was responsible. When he was awarded a National Merit Scholarship in 1959, he could have gone to pretty much any college he wanted, but chose The University Of Chicago, because that’s where the blues were. And so he landed in the middle of one of the richest and most vital scenes in blues history. “Any night of the week you could hear Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf, Hound Dog Taylor, Otis Rush, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Magic Sam, Bobby King, Eddie King, Little Smokey, Big Smokey, and a whole ton of people you never heard of.”

His first week in Chicago, he came across Paul Butterfield, who was sitting on some steps drinking beer and playing blues on guitar. “We fell together right away,” says Elvin. “I was amazed to find other white guys into blues.” After playing with a lot of different people, including J.T. Brown, Hound Dog Taylor and Junior Wells, Elvin hooked up with Butterfield to form the legendary Paul Butterfield Blues Band, with bassist Jerome Arnold and drummer Sam Lay, who’d been Howlin’ Wolf’s rhythm section. Producer Paul Rothchild of Elektra Records encouraged them to add guitarist Michael Bloomfield. “I’d met Bloomfield before, in a pawn shop,” says Elvin, “when I was looking for guitars. We got to talking. He got a guitar out, started playing circles around the world.”

In 1965 the Butterfield band went into the studio and recorded The Paul Butterfield Blues Band album, which turned out to be a sea-change record for thousands of rock fans and musicians. An integrated band playing blues music in 1965 was unheard of. It introduced a lot of people to the blues, and to the musicians who had influenced the Butterfield band. After several more albums with Butterfield, including the pivotal genrebending East West, Bishop took off on his own. “I wanted to stretch out, see how far I could take it on my own,” says Elvin. Bishop had visited San Francisco with the Butterfield band during the Summer of Love in 1967. “I loved the people, the weather, and not having to watch my back all the time.” And like several other Chicago musicians he ended up moving to the Bay Area.

The 70’s saw Elvin hit the charts with solo tracks like “Travelin’ Shoes,” “Sure Feels Good” and what would become his biggest hit, “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” with a powerful vocal by Mickey Thomas. During the 1980’s, Elvin spent most of his time on the road, “entertaining the people and maybe having a little too much fun myself.” Later in the decade he hooked up with Alligator for a number of excellent albums that grew right out of his blues roots.



World  Records turns 30 this Saturday. Live music will help us mark the occasion. The  Flying Arvizu Brothers play inside from 9 AM to 10 AM. JT Butler and the Horizon  Blues Band will play in front of the store from 10 AM to 11 AM. The FIVE,  featuring BRUCE JONES, will play inside from 11 AM to 11:30  AM.

It’s a good  time to look back on where we came from as we look forward to a new  decade.

In February  1982, Scott Schwebel and I, who had been close friends since fourth grade, went  out in search of an album. We drove to each of Bakersfield’s five record stores.  None of them had the album. And worse, none of them cared. Not cool.

By the time  we got back to his house, Scott said we had to open our own store. I said, “No…OK.” After four months of construction, with immense help from family and  friends, World Records opened on June 12, 1982 at Oswell and Columbus. Scott and  I were 22 and 23 years old and had a record store. We thought that was pretty  cool.

We kept our ‘real’ jobs, thinking the store would be profitable on its own. Not quite. That September, Scott went out to  dinner with his fiancée Linda, said good night, and died in a wreck on the way  home. I spent four months trying to figure out which way was up. The store was  adrift and the staff ready to move on. I coped by quitting my financial analyst  job to focus on making Scott’s idea succeed. Continue reading