Monte Montgomery

Monte Montgomery
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I wouldn't trade that time for anything" recalls Monte Montgomery, about his tough, but musically enriching early childhood where he first learned to play guitar. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, and relocated to San Antonio at age 13, he played trumpet and piano, later switching to guitar. He spent his formative years in Luckenbach, Texas, living with his mother, Maggie Montgomery, an accomplished country singer/guitarist, and spent much time learning from and playing with musicians who hung out at Hondo Crouch's General Store and Bar. That was then, this is now. "1st and Repair", Monte Montgomery's debut album showcases his incredibly eye-popping fretwork, original songs and stunning vocals. An impressive new talent on the Austin, Texas scene, he and his bandmates Chris Maresh (bass) and Phil Bass (drums) have been performing locally for the past three years. Monte's influences include Mark Knopfler, Bruce Cockburn, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Lindsey Buckingham, but his approach and sound are all his own. His scintillating guitar style prompted one critic from the Austin Chronicle to remark "It was just him and his guitar on stage, but the sound was so full, so resonant, that he could have had a thousand guitars up there." "Monte Montgomery gets more sounds out of his acoustic guitar than most artists get out of their whole band." says the Austin American Statesman.That is just one reason why Monte's live performances earned him opening slots for Bob Dylan, Buddy Guy, Kenny Loggins, Willie Nelson, Delbert McClinton and Robert Earl Keen. The second is his original songs. They range from bluesy slide guitar grooves to intense rockers, hip reggae rhythms to beautiful ballads, all sung with a soft, soulful voice. The pop-rock "Last Goodbye" will be the first single release from "1st and Repair".
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12/15/2008 - Monte Montgomery Interview - Read More
05/21/2004 - Taking guitar talents to new heights - Read More
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Average Rating : 0              Total Reviews: 28

Monte Montgomery  12/09/2001            
Dennis Hite
I first saw Monte Montgomery at the Fort Worth Main Street Fine Arts Festival. He was the second act preceding the main attraction, Joe Ely and The Flatlanders. To say that Monte stole was show was an understatement. When The Flatlanders (whom I have seen many times live) came out on stage, they could have changed their name to just plain Flat. Monte's strength is his guitar work and having listened a number of times to all of the CDs he currently has in release, I found them to be disappointing. Lyrically, Monte has a long way to go to ever reach his guitar skill level. After seeing Monte live and enjoying his wild and extended guitar leads, the balladic nature of most of his songs left me wanting a lot more guitar work and a lot less of his vocal lamentation. Is it time for a LIVE CD? Yes.
Monte Montgomery  08/14/2001            
Bryan "KaTman" Erickson
Throughout this CD it is obvious that Monte Montgomery is going for a different production aspect that is likely aimed for more radio exposure. But that is not a bad thing. In fact, once the trained "Montiac" ear gets used to the new sound, it is overall an extremely impressive piece of work. There's really not a song on this whole release unworthy of such desired airplay. Inevitably Montgomery should be elevated to another level with the deserving new exposure to his beautiful songs. Opener Tug of War contains the most redundant of the choruses, but works well with very flowing guitar parts and vocals. Title cut Wishing Well shows continued lyrical excellence that dares you to not sing along. As does cut #3 - I Know What You Want which is a real toe-tapper and one everybody that's ever had a heartbreak can relate to on the first listen. Next up Catch Me shows a softer side which focuses more on great singing. Tomorrow Begins with Today shows a completely new side of Montgomery also, with (gasp) him on keyboards also. His talent refuses to stop growing. Erased slows down a bit again to tug at your emotions a little more. Monte is awesome at relating emotions, ya know. Broken Arms follws suit. Soldier at His Best shows another new side - relating the inner feelings of someone who doesn't happen to be Monte himself. Beautiful song. Bagpipe is an instrumental worthy of being longer. Sunset Lullaby is the biggest heart-tugger of the bunch if you realize the second and third verse semi-biographical nature of Monte's upbringing. I happened to see Monte play it live at this CD release party with his mother watching on and there wasn't a dry eye in the 800 seat venue. All on Me also has a bit of that effect as a live song. Thankfully on the CD it lasts for several minutes of patented Monte guitar solo work which is one thing this CD could use a little more of. And it all ends with Radio Girl with a chorus impossible to get out of your head. Absolutely five stars. Monte is musical genious. I hope this is his breakout recording that he deserves.
Monte Montgomery  08/06/2001            
Justus Anderson
Monte is crazy on the Guitar. he sounds amazing. only if i could ever play that well. his music isgreat.
Monte Montgomery  03/03/2001            
Dee Crump
I have seen Monte Montgomery 3 times. The first and second time at Rick's in Tyler, Tx. The second time we took a friend(in his late 40's)who has played guitar in bands since high school. We wanted another opinion on his playing since we love good music but don't play. Our friend confirmed our opinion that this guy is Totally Awesome!!! He said "I've never seen anything like this, makes me want to put up my guitar." So if you get the chance to see Monte live DO IT! There is no comparison to live and his CD's. Not that they aren't good. Especially,When Will I,Took Too Long and the beautifull love song I Know You By Heart on the album Mirror. These give you a mere taste of his talent. I took 4 friends to Freddie Mack's in Shreveport,La. To see Monte in January and they all loved the show. Our ages range for 25 to 42 so his audience span is pretty good. Hopefully his next album will be a live one. I truly belive that is all his needs to do to really hit it. Texas has spawned some really great musicians and I am proud to put Monte right up there the guitar picking of Stevie Ray Vaughn and the story telling/song writing of Robert Earl Keen.
Monte Montgomery  03/03/2001            
Mike Ray
Prodigal Son Returns – A Luckenbach Review After making a brief stop in Luckenbach to check out the dance hall and general store, Nancy and I spent most of Saturday afternoon wondering through the antique malls and shops in downtown Fredericksburg. Late in the afternoon, Nancy and I drove to Banker Smith to pay Butch and Maggie a visit, and once there discovered they’d converted the historic Banker Smith general store/train station structure into a home. What gracious people they were to open up their home to us and take the time to explain the transformation the old place had undergone in the past several months. We returned to Luckenbach about 45 minutes before the doors opened to the gorgeous old dance hall. A couple hundred people were already milling around, swapping stories, drinking a beer and enjoying the cool evening. A steady stream of headlights funneled their way into the grass parking area. Once the heavy wooden doors were swung open, some of the people ventured inside while other elected to smoke another cigarette prior to entering the no-smoking, wooden structure. Besides the ring of tables and benches around the outside of the oak dance floor, the interior was wide open. The dance hall crowd gradually built as the Benjamin Allen Band performed, although a hundred or more people remained outside enjoying the music through the open windows throughout the night. Luckenbach is a different kind of place. Some describe it as magical, but whatever it is, there is a unique aura about the place. Legendary musicians have played in the dance hall regularly for the past century and a half and the people know what good music is. Not only do the people appreciate good music, but also a significant percentage knows Monte as a person and his music like the back of their hand, as this is his hometown. It was obvious from the get go that the audience expectations were nothing less than excellence from Monte and that Monte had every intention of delivering his very best effort. Just before Monte lit into 1st and Repair, someone yelled, “Welcome home Monte.” “It’s good to be back; it’s been awhile,” Monte replied. Monte played the opening numbers just a tad slower paced than usual, but increased the passion a notch and concentrated intently on precise execution of his guitar work. At the same time, his winks and facial gestures acknowledging old friends in the crowd demonstrated he was having a hell of a time performing on the old stage adjacent to the “Hondo Hilton” break area. His adoring fans roared their approval at the conclusion of each number. Just before the last song of the first set, Monte proclaimed that no one should leave early as the performance up to that point was B.S. and the best was yet to come. He then announced he was about to play a rock epic, which turned out to be Little Wing. What a phenomenal rendition it was to conclude the first set. As superb as the first set was, the second set was indeed something special. Monte and the boys began with their acoustical portion of the show with Steve on cello. I couldn’t help but notice more than one couple holding each other tightly and singing the words to “I Know You By Heart” to their partner. This was followed by the most heart-felt version of “Leaving Paradise” I’ve ever witnessed. To top off the romantic segment of the show, Sylvia Kirk joined Monte as they sang their duet favorite “Landslide.” Then the fun began. “Took Too Long” with its introductory teasers had the crowd in stitches as Monte shook his head no implying I’m not really going to play “Stairway to Heaven” or “Carry On My Wayward Son” so get over it! Finally he shook his head yes as he wailed into the extended dance version of “Took Too Long.” Steve got quite the ovation for his bass solo. The second to the last number of the set was the most magnificent, incredible, gut-wrenching, bluesy rendition of “All On Me” to date. A huffing and puffing Monte proclaimed, “I’ve got to take a little break. If you didn’t notice I played my ass off on that last one.” Oh my God we noticed all right. Yes, I’m very partial to this song but if this song isn’t ready for prime time I don’t know what is. I’d love to think that performance would be on the upcoming live CD, although I have no idea if the show was even recorded. The last song of the set was a “Superstition” medley and the guys were truly inspired on that one. Michael Urdy and Rob Hooper were simply splendid on percussion. The crowd was rocking at a fever pitch for nearly 20 minutes. On a few occasions when the song seemed to approach a natural ending point, Monte would resurrect the song for another climatic musical journey. The audience loved every minute of it, but the length and intensity was obviously exhausting to the performers. I really wasn’t sure they could find the strength for an encore. After a couple of minutes of boot stomping and screaming for more, Monte returned to the stage by himself. He started playing “Bringing Me Down” as a solo. Shortly thereafter, the other band members rejoined Monte on stage. The performance was beautiful, but more reserved than most of the renditions we’ve grown accustomed to witnessing. It was as if they were still recovering from “Superstition” which was completely understandable. That is until the final moments when the entire band simultaneously got a huge dose of adrenaline pumping through their collective veins. The passion, the energy, the power, the animation of all the performers was awesome. The band’s sprint to the finish was taking a toll and the song mercifully ended with multiple string rips from Monte’s guitar. Monte placed the guitar down on the stage, leaped into the air appearing to be stomping the old Yairi into oblivion. Gasps from the crowd turned into exhales of relief as Monte’s boots landed safely on either side of the guitar. What a night. Mike (wished he wouldn’t pretend to stomp the Yairi anymore)
Monte Montgomery  03/03/2001            
MO City Dan
Monte Montgomery is the best singer/songwriter/guitarist on the planet. Listen to his CDs, but catch his live show to be truly amazed. No one has ever done with a guitar what Monte does, and he sets it all in a roots-rock framework that is totally approachable. He deserves to be a household name.
Monte Montgomery  06/14/2000            
Bradley Balch
Well Mr. Ray, I'm glad you like Jason Boland And The Stragglers. I enjoy their music too. as a matter of fact, I met them and played with them around the campfires at Meridian this year. Being from Stillwater OK they do have the "Traditional Texas/Oklahoma" sound. Monte Montgomery is not Country at all if that is what you expected. Being a singer-songwriter myself I appreciate good writers and musicians; Monte is a tripple threat. He writes, plays, and sings styles from blues, folk, jazz influenced music as well as some deep ballads if you bothered to listen to "I Know You By Heart" on Mirrors. I first heard of him on line from a list I belong to. One if the comments was, "He makes me want to quit the guitar". Monte does more with an acoustic guitar than most will ever hope to do with an electric. I saw him at Poor David's Pub a while back and had never heard any of his music. To me he is "Jaw Dropping Incredible" and I mean that literally. At the performance I saw many people drop their jaws, look at each other and then back to the stage. The best example is during one song Monte played a long solo. He started out with flat picking, moved to nashville picking with a pick and fingers, and then ended by playing a classical style with two fingers. Needless to say he is incredible. If you have not seen him live, I suggest you should. Hopefully you haven't taken the CD back yet like you planned. That's my two cents worth. Bradley
Monte Montgomery  06/13/2000            
Dave Ray
Today I was at the local CD store looking for something to tide me over until my Dub Miller CD arrives in the mail, and I happened to see "Mirror" just sitting there on the rack. I could have sworn I remember seeing Monte Montgomery on "Austin City Limits", and he seemed good at the I thought I would give his new CD a listen. Lately I've been listening to Jason Boland and the Stragglers "Pearl Snaps" (I caught their show in Amarillo and they are the REAL DEAL, so if you happen to get a chance...), so I was thinking that it was about time to give something else a chance for awhile. I must say that either I slept through that Austin City Limits episode or I was thinking of someone else, because this is not the man I remember. Sure, Lloyd Maines playes a mean steel, but that is all this CD has going for it. I can only hope they will take it back tomorrow...I knew I should have just waited for Dub Miller.
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