You can call it prescient or predetermined, but when Terry Lickona, undisputed tastemaker and producer of Austin City Limits, plucked a then relatively unknown guitar talent to tape a segment of the legendary show, one had the sense that this was just the beginning.
Since that jaw dropping performance, Monte Montgomery has embarked on an almost fantasy like rock and roll roller coaster ride filled with dizzying accomplishments and mind blowing accolades. Named one of the “Top 50 All-Time Greatest Guitar Players” by Guitar Player Magazine, he’s been called everything from “guitar-god” to the “answer to the Fermi Paradox”.
With the release of his latest CD “Monte Montgomery”, he is cementing his place as not just some blazingly electrified acoustic guitar playing freak of nature, but also a rare and true triple threat; songwriter, singer and master musician.
The end result, in a day of homogenized, digitalized, and processed music, is that this new project stands out as a throw back to the great pop rock records of the past. Recorded live at the legendary Masterlink Studio, the textured, deep, rich, nuanced and just plain rocking 12 tracks run the gamut, showcasing Monte’s stylistic diversity beginning with the opening album track “River”, an almost primal seven minute dark bluesy roots rocker, and ending with “Midlife Matinee” a wistful ballad that soulfully explores the turning points and crossroads of life, love and loss.
Long a big draw on the live music scene, Monte’s non-stop touring schedule this year has included ParkPop (one of the largest music festivals in Europe). A Monte Montgomery show is likened to a musical religious experience. “I wanted to capture what I do live on this record. I want people to close their eyes and envision themselves at one of my concerts.”
Ironically, it’s the cover of another rock pop classic that is bringing Monte a high profile fan and opening up new doors. After seeing Monte’s version of Sara Smile on YouTube,Daryl Hall (Hall & Oates) was so blown away he invited Monte to be the featured artist onLive From Daryl’s House,the popular web-based music show.
These accomplishments are quite a distance from Birmingham, Alabama where Monte learned to play piano and trumpet. At the age of 12 Monte moved to Texas to live with his mom, a singer/songwriter who instilled in him a passion for music and a taste of the life he was destined to lead as he sang and performed with her in Hill Country picking parlors.It was the eventual move to Austin where you could say he earned his musical baccalaureate from that city’s highly competitive music scene (earning him seven consecutive Austin Music Awards). That led to the current fulfillment of his musical destiny; a dedicated fan base, critical acclaim and an ever growing touring circuit in the U.S. and Europe.