I first heard of Monte Montgomery back in 1999, by way of a nice guy in Texas who worked in some capacity for Jerry LaCroix. He sent me some Monte music and I was hooked. I had never heard anyone “go up side a guitar” like Monte. Especially on acoustic. Later I would have the sheer pleasure of seeing Monte perform several times in several states, and it was always amazing.
Now before I go any further, let me add into the mix a note about Monte’s singing voice. This guy is no one trick pony, not by a long shot baby. He is an excellent singer, songwriter and performer - the whole package.
The first thing that just blew my fish out of the pond about his latest (self titled) release is the hard and heavy Southern Rock (almost a Gov’t Mule song) opener, “River.” Man oh man, the slinky smooth slide guitar and heavy drums kick you in the naughty place and set the stage for what turns out to be one of Montgomery’s finest works ever.
And before I give you the false impression that “River” is the only superb track here, let me continue by swearing to you, fellow babies, this album rocks like Skynyrd meets Sister Hazel meets The Mule. “Let’s Go” continues the established trend of groove heavy rockers.
“Love’s Last Holiday” a beautiful acoustic ballad, with almost a Beatles style of arrangement, and “Midlife Matinee” finds Monte returning again to his melodic best accompanied only by that astounding acoustic guitar.
It’s back to shades of The Mule with “You Can’t Fool Everyone,” and it rocks, guys.
Monte has been playing Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing” for years, and on the new album he gives it his all in a definitive instrumental rendition.
This may well be Montgomery’s best to date. Hard to say, as I love them all. The guy is simply amazing. If by chance you haven’t heard Monte, do yourself a favor and check him out. If, like me, you are a long time fan, you are going to love this new release. No doubt in my mind.
-Michael Buffalo Smith