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Monte Montgomery

As a leading voice on the music scene in Austin, TX, guitarist Monte Montgomery slowly gained national recognition for his amazing dexterity, fluid harmonics, percussive dynamics, and melodic sensibility. Montgomery won his fourth consecutive title as best acoustic guitarist at the 2001 Austin Music Awards at the SXSW Festival. Songs written by Montgomery in early 2001 followed suit from his previous releases, 1998's 1st and Repair and 1999's Mirror, in that they all focus on storytelling, a quality he derived from listening to Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, and Bob Dylan. "Tug of War," a song written in 2001, was about the give and take in relationships. "All on Me" started as a slow ballad, then transformed into a guitar anthem. Montgomery continued to tour in 2001 with his quartet -- bassist Lonnie Trevino, drummer Phil Bass, and percussionist Mike Urdy -- performing songs loosely based on his experiences or gathered from his understanding of and observations of other people. Montgomery's sandy voice and rapid fingerpicking gained him comparisons to Mark Knopfler and Bruce Cockburn, but his true heritage lay in the tradition of Texas guitarists B.W. Stevenson, Shake Russell, and Guy Clark, whom he discovered in his youth. National acclaim started to come his way after appearances on PBS music television shows, such as Austin City Limits, CD Highway, and Texas Music Cafe. His growing talents as a guitarist and songwriter came from the understanding of melody and rhythm he gained from hearing pop icons Lindsay Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Wonder, and the Neville Brothers. Montgomery's journey to guitar stardom started in the Hill Country hamlet near Fredericksburg, TX, where his mom (Maggie Montgomery, herself a folk-country singer and guitarist in Luckenbach, TX) let him strum her guitar while she fingered the chords. Montgomery lived out of the back of his mother's pickup for a while. He played for tips and paid a lot of dues early in his career. He and his mother used to hang out at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas where they met a lot of songwriters. David Montgomery, his dad, factored into his development, too. Monte Montgomery was born in Birmingham, AL, where his father, a choir director, took him to church and introduced him to gospel singers. A lot of his apprenticeship during the '80s took place in San Antonio, where he honed his skills by performing cover songs in cafes and honky-tonks. He commuted to Austin to perform his original songs. Before long, he became a mainstay on the music scene there. After signing with Heart Music to record his first two CDs, Montgomery began to rise in popularity. In 1998, Montgomery moved to Austin. The songs on his 2000 CD, Mirror, ranged from the flashy guitar style on "Hopin' That You'd Slow Down" to the beautiful lyricism of the ballad "Magnolia." Well into 2001, Montgomery brought both parental forces to bear in the rich harmonic interplay of his voice and his guitar. ~ Robert Hicks, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

His live recordings are always better than his studio stuff, and if your every get to see him live, you will see exactly how good he is. I've seen him play about fifteen times. I took a friend of mine who teaches guitar professional l y , and he said, " I can't believe we play the same instrument".
dlarue2u
Just heard about Monte...some licks remind me of Eric Johnson, a true guitar wizard from Austin, his acoustic stuff pales in comparison to Austrailian picker Tommy Emmanuel's (look up classical gas on utube) but not bad, his lyrics are interesting and he has good collection of music published... I wish I could have seen him play Bass Hall in Fort Worth recently, but Fri night was already sold out....next time Monte
Every time I hear something from him I am simply blown away. His playing is amazing - fast, clean, interesting - and I am grooving on his voice. I only wish I could see him live.
tony3956
I was working the Stage Crew at the Kerrville Folk Festival the year he headlined there. On the occasion of his triumphant return Home, serious technical problems plagued his sound check. He never lost his cool, kept his sense of humor intact, and apologized to the opening bands for taking too long for his sound check.

In the end, he simply plugged his magnificent guitar straight into the mixing board and, of course, and melted faces with raw talent and passion. Grace and class.
pswilson1
I love the original version and the lyrics. Still i wonder if Mark Knopfler has heard this amazing stuff? Great tribute and incredible guitar work.
In 1995 I was returning from vacation on Padre Island...As was my custom I locked in KLBJ on the way back to Dallas, on the radio was the fastest/most complex acoustic player I have ever heard...My wife and I found Mirror and have been addicted ever since...Mont e is greatness...
how can a mere mortal do that on an acoustic, ridiculous!! ! ! !
sweet indeed love that Austin influnece man he can strum the guitar I would love to see him live.
Monte is the most under rated artist on the planet. He is a first rate player and first rate human being. What a talent. The best.....
I have been a fan of Monte since I saw him live in 2001. This guy doesn't put out a bad album. The best guitar picking I have ever witnessed since I never got to see Vaughn in person. Live! You can't have a better musical experience, it is a bucket list item if you haven't done so.
Hey Originalsull y m a n . . . . . I too learned of Monte in Comfort/Luck e n b a c h when he was just gettin out there. Wonder if you know some of the same people I know.....
He IS one of the best guitar players I've ever seen; he can really make that acoustic guitar ... sing! Love his voice too. Hate that no one dances at his shows tho.
~:)P
robinsnestx1 5 h o m e
Monte is the best guitarist I have ever heard,and I play a bit myself. He doesnt sing bad either. Wish he would get some real world attention so more folks can hear this incredible player.
I grew up hearing Monte play in Kerrville and Comfort, in small bars, and wit hthe likes of Gary P Nunn. I had him come play to our music and writing group at Schreiner College back in 1992. He is an amazing artist, but I must say I like the still he had back then, which was more Texas Hill Country Blues - like Stevie Ray Vaughn, the biggest influence on guitarists (including Monte) in Texas (strangely left out of this bio). His new stuff has a weak sound compared.
jhall318
First discovered Monte hearing "You took too long" on the radio, and was an instant fan. saw him in Little Rock about 3 years later. A great show.
mwhcherokee1
would love to see him come to the St.Louis, Mo area for a show
kabaam
I've been a HUGE fan of Monte for years. See him if you get the chance you WILL be amazed!!
Saw Montey in a bar in Cleveland last year. He is a monster!
Amazes me that I just found out about this guy. How can so much talent be such a secret and I even live in Texas!!!Cant wait to buy all his music!
Wow... just discovered Monte. He totally blew me away! He is very talented and I don't know how my music collection existed without him! I look forward to discovering more of his music. If you haven't listened to him yet, do so! You won't be dissapointed !
samiam1
Check out Monte's appearance on "Live From Daryl's House" - very nice, coordinated sound with Daryl Hall and the late and incredibly great T-Bone Wolk. Monte gets to sing lead on "Sara Smile", although he still needs to learn the entire second verse . . . . Very nice sound.
akottas8
Monte is amazing, period. I flew from Minneapolis to New Orleans twice to see him some years back, and even got to meet him (when he finally came to Minneapolis) a year or two later - very nice and humble guy! In reply to quicksilver_ g i r l ' s question regarding representati o n , check his website (it's just his name - dot - com).
sarahkk34
i love monte he rocks my socks off
christinecc3 3 3
Monte kicks butt.. Such a fantastic songwriter, acoustic guitar playiing takes me to Jupiter and beyond and such a wonderful person...Loo k i n g forward to seeing you live soon... Keep on jammin!!!
Anyone know who reps him?
heard him for the first time on Pandora today. I like his sound! Does he have any newer stuff out? Any suggestions for his older stuff that I should get?
Monte played our fair burg last fall, about 100 people in the audience; I mean, he tore it up! Remarkable live performer!
I had the honor of playing with Monte for 7 years, my favorite today is still Wishing Well !
Monte and his guitar still give me chills. School of Hard Knocks paid off!
Willy sounds like he got rolling same way as Monte: an army of devoted live show fans. Some would say Monte hasn't reached that elusive pinacle of whateverness we call commercial success either, but who really cares? I don't think it probably bothers these guys all that much. I swear, there is something in the water in Austin!
1wre: Sorry to say, Chris Whitley passed a few years ago, lung cancer. I love his music.
You said it Plum! Willy used to be Wisconsin's "best kept secret", but he's just too damn good to keep down! Granted, "commercial" success has eluded him, but who cares! He does what he loves and we love what he does. I am a long-time listener, back to his Cassette tape demo of Seagull days.
Willy Porter is a local artist where I live (Madison, WI). He's a real guy who plays great music - a definite local favorite. People see him over and over again; last interview I heard of him, he didn't need to travel too much to earn a living. Long story short, willy is great, like Monte.
If you like Monte, look for Willy Porter, and Chris Whitley (Perfect Day)
Amazing guitarist and distinctive singer. Can't beat his rhthym and indy appeal!
Hey all,
Huge Monte Montgomery fan... He's recording a new album in Nashville right now! Should be out by fall 08!

Blutojt
Thank you Pandora. I had never heard of Montgomery, but this man is an amazing musician. "When Will I" is one of my favorites for sure.
djspuma
"When Will I" is so sunny and bright. Nice guitar work. I love it.
I saw this guy on Austin City Limits about 10 years ago and never forgot him, just forgot his name. One day, he came up on Pandora and I knew immediately who he was and where I had heard him before. I love rediscoverin g something that was lost. I think he's great.
props from portland, delicious sound
Really impressed - you ever make it up to Vermont, I'd love to refer you to some choice venues - jeremiah brophy - Show Works Theatrical Audio Visual
Stunning...
jhall11
Austin continues to spit out the goods!!

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