John Michael Montgomery will bring love for Coast to Island View
WEBSTER PR John Michael Montgomery
BY JEFF CLARK
Country singer John Michael Montgomery will be bringing about 25 years of hits including "I Can Love You Like That" and "I Love the Way You Love Me" with him when he hits the Island View Casino in Gulfport at 8 Saturday night.
"Man, I love that area of the country," Montgomery said in a phone interview with the Sun Herald. "I love the Gulf Coast. It is one of my favorite places to visit."
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Montgomery has been performing since he was child. The son of two musicians, he said he developed a passion for singing at an early age.
"My mom was a drummer, and she sang and my dad was a guitar player and he sang and my brother, Eddie, is in Montgomery Gentry," he said. "They drug us around and put us on stage. We've been doing this singing thing since we were kids. I told Eddie the other day, 'Who thought we would still be doing it today -- we've been able to dodge the real job for this long.'"
Although Montgomery doesn't play as many shows as he once he did, he said his new touring schedule allows him to spend more time with his family.
"My love is to get on stage and sing in front of people," he said. "I've always been a guy that's enjoyed going to different places and seeing different things. Nowadays, I'm kind of a weekend warrior; I try to be home a few days a week. I like to be able to come home and hang out with my kids."
Montgomery said he loves connecting with his fans on tour, but there's another reason he likes to hit the road, and that is the game of golf.
"I've been fortunate to play golf all over the country," he said. "Golf is the most unique game in the world. When you are playing it, you don't think about anything else but hitting that little white ball. You'll forget about all of your stresses because you will be stressing your butt off trying to get that little ball in the hole."
Back into the studio?
In between tour dates, Montgomery said, he plans to get back in the studio this year and he hopes to bring some special guests with him.
"I'm going to record my greatest hits, and I'm hoping to get some people to sing with me on some of my songs," he said. "I'm hoping I can get Hank Williams Jr. to do one with me and maybe even Kelly Clarkson on 'I Love the Way You Love Me.' I also want to do a song with Eddie. We're hoping we can make that happen."
John Michael Montgomery Headlines a classic lineup of timeless country music
FAIRBANKS, ALASKA - John Michael Montgomery takes the long view when it comes to his music. He’s not into the flavor of the week or keeping up with the bro country trend. He wants his music to last, and it has.
His debut album, “Life’s a Dance,” went triple platinum in 1992. Songs such as “I Love the Way You Love Me,” “I Swear,” “I Can Love You Like That,” and “How Was I to Know” saturated country and pop radio and are still in rotation today. His 2004 hit “Letters from Home” is a moving tribute to the bond between soldiers and their families. His hits weren’t all love songs, as anyone trying to keep up with “Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident” can attest, but they’re timeless. And that’s by design.
“I grew up in an era in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s with rock/blues/country music,” Montgomery said, noting artists such as Lionel Richie, George Strait and Alabama are all artists whose music he admired. “It was a timeless period for music. All that music today is still popular and still holds its own.”
Montgomery is bringing those songs, and many others, to Fairbanks this weekend in a concert that will also feature performances from Ty Herndon and Confederate Railroad.
“Those are some great folks,” Montgomery said. “I know them very well. They were on my label at Atlantic. It’s going to be fun to hook back up with them.”
The Kentucky-born artist started his career singing with his brother Eddie Montgomery, now part of the duo Montgomery Gentry, and family is still an important part of his life. Over his career, Montgomery has released 11 studio albums, with six of them plus his greatest hits compilation going gold or platinum. He’s sold more than 16 million records, charted 15 No. 1 hits and earned four Academy of Country Music awards and two Grammy nominations, among his many awards.
Montgomery has a method for picking songs with staying power. “If I liked it, I’d literally put it on repeat in my pickup and would just listen to it over and over for two and a half weeks,” he said. “If it didn’t last a week, I didn’t cut it. There’s a lot of songs you hear out there with a high burn factor. I tried to stay away from them. I had to go out and date my songs for awhile to see if we’re compatible.”
He has passed his love of music on to his son, Jackson, who sometimes appears on stage with him.
“He’s following in old Dad’s footsteps,” Montgomery said. Although Montgomery and his brother paid their dues in the bars and honky-tonks, he’s in no hurry for his 17-year-old son to jump into a music career yet. High school graduation comes first and maybe down the road they’ll work on a record deal, he said.
“I want him to enjoy being a teenager because real life’s going to hit him in the face, and when it does it’s going to come fast and I want him to be prepared for it,” he said.
Asked if there were any artists he’d like to collaborate with, Montgomery paused. “There’s several people out there, but I think it would be selfish to name them, I’ve been so fortunate to work with so many people.” Among the artist I got to work with were George Strait back in the ‘90s; Alabama; and Alan Jackson. ... I’d like to do some stuff with me and my brother and Troy (Gentry). Take a year and just do a tour together. Just go out there and have one big fun tour.”
Although such a tour is unlikely right now because of red tape associated with their record companies, Montgomery is happy to get back on the road again. February may be the shortest month on the calendar, but “it’s absolutely the longest dreary bone-aching” month of the year, he said.
“I’m getting stir-crazy,” he said. “I’ve been off the road for about three months. I’m going to be every excited about getting back up on stage there.”
Contact staff writer Julie Stricker at 459-7532.
John Michael Mongomery plays The Ranch at Fort Myers
Take a song you like and play it on your car stereo. Then do it again. And again.
In fact, listen to that song every day for three weeks straight.
Still like it? Then you might have something special on your hands. You might have a hit.
That’s how country crooner John Michael Montgomery does it. And he knows what he’s talking about. The Kentucky native has racked up a whopping 15 No. 1 country hits in his two-decade recording career.
Before those songs got recorded, though, they had to pass the truck test.
“I would drive around in my truck with my CD player, just sitting there and wearing it out,” says Montgomery, 50, calling from his tour bus somewhere on the road to a Missouri concert. “That’s how I got to know all of my songs. I’d just spend some time with ‘em.
“And if the song started to wear on me in three weeks, I’d probably cut it. If I could listen to it for three weeks and not get tired of it, then fans might like it, too.”
The fans, no doubt, will be hollering for many of those hits Saturday when the country star plays The Ranch Concert Hall & Saloon. Songs such as “I Swear,” “Be My Baby Tonight,” “I Love the Way You Love Me,” “The Little Girl,” “Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)” and many more.
“They’re the ones that people always yell, ‘You gonna play that song, ain’t you?’” Montgomery says. “I always do those.
“If I didn’t do ‘Sold’ and ‘I Swear,’ everybody would want their money back.”
Everybody loves “Sold,” in particular, he says. “It seems like they’re just waiting to hear that.”
Montgomery says he spent weeks driving around with that uptempo song written byRichard Fagan and Robb Royer. He’d sing along to the demo in his truck and try to perfect the narrator’s auctioneer-style voice.
“No doubt about it: When I first got that song, I was like, ‘I hope I can pull it off!’” he says. “But it’s a fun song to sing.”
Others apparently agree with him. “Sold” is a popular choice for karaoke singers across the country.
It’s not an easy song to do right, though. Montgomery says he’s seen a few people attempt to sing it in karaoke bars — and fail miserably.
“It’s hilarious, you know?” he says. “It’s always fun to watch somebody attempt to sing some of your songs on a karaoke stage.
“I think most of them that I heard were pretty bad, actually (laughs)!”
If you go
Who: John Michael Montgomery
When: Music starts at 9 p.m. Saturday with opening act Chasing Dallas Band. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Where: The Ranch Concert Hall & Saloon, 2158 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers
Tickets: $23 in advance, $28 at the door. The show is only open to ages 21 and older.
Montgomery talked about more than just “Sold” during his News-Press interview. Here’s what the country star had to say about:
His love of Lionel Richie love songs such as “Three Times a Lady,” a huge influence on his own ballads.
“I used to wear his albums out — cassette tapes, I should say,” he says. “His songs, like with a lot of people, really stuck with me.”
Shooting the video for “I Love the Way You Love Me” in Fort Myers’ FloridaRepertory Theatre in the early 1990s. He was on tour and needed a convenient place to shoot the video.
“It was a beautiful place,” he says. “It was definitely a cool place to do the video.”
How his style of country balladry doesn’t get played much on the radio anymore.
“I think ballads are looked at like, ‘That’s kind of a downer,’” he says.
Montgomery had never heard the term “bro country,” but he admits he’s not cut out for that new brand of party-hearty country music.
“I had my heyday back in the, like, 1900s,” he says and laughs. “If I tried to do what they do today, I don’t think I’d be able to pull it off. It’s just not my style.”
John Michael Montgomery "Kickin' It Up"
John Michael Montgomery sat astride a tall horse, riding high in the saddle, during the mid-’90s. This was in part thanks to his debut album, Kickin’ It Up, which contained the big hit “I Swear.” He had 15 No. 1 singles and racked up sales of 16 million records with that song and other hits like, “Life’s A Dance,” “Be My Baby Tonight,” “Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)” and “I Can Love You Like That.”
Up to that time, he paid his dues of playing bars and juke joints in Kentucky as a solo act, or with his brother Eddie Montgomery and his friend Teddy Gentry(who later made their own name in country as Montgomery Gentry). So he was ready to soak up some well-deserved glory…and a little bit of scratch.
But fate stepped in and he lost his voice to the point that surgery was required and two years lost. That hiatus cost him. The music business doesn’t stand still for anyone. But he persevered and climbed the mountain a second time to realize heights in 1996, with “Friends” from What I Do The Best; “Cover You in Kisses” and “Hold on to Me” from his 1998 Leave a Mark album; and “Home to You” from the self-titled 1999 release. His 2003 duet with Alison Kraus on the single “The Little Girl” set the stage for his successful 2004 album Letters From Home.
To read more about John Michael's take on some of his favorite songs and what he is up to now click HERE!
Montgomery Brothers Host 2nd Annual Charity Golf Event - 2014 event benefits “Warriors For Freedom”
The Montgomery Brothers, John Michael and Eddie, are joining forces to raise money for Warriors for Freedom. The golf tournament will be held at Old Bridge Country Club in Danville on Monday, October 13, 2014.
Special Guests include Troy Gentry, of Montgomery-Gentry, Dakota Myer, Medal of Honor recipient and Major Ed Pulido(Ret.) with Warriors for Freedom.
John Michael Montgomery has recorded over 15 number one singles, 18 top 10’s and 2 singles of the year. His songs include the Vet favorite “Letters from Home.” He lives in Jessamine County and continues to record and tour.
Eddie Montgomery, along with partner Troy Gentry, have been named AMA New Artist and CMA Duo of the Year. Montgomery-Gentry is a strong supporter of the USO, Armed Forces, their Families.
Kentucky native Troy Gentry, the other half of Montgomery-Gentry will be on hand for golf and the jam session after.
The Warriors for Freedom Foundation provides support thru healing outdoor activities, scholarships mental health awareness. Learn more at warriorsforfreedom.org