Montgomery Gentry is bringing its brand of raw, in-your-face country music to Dover this weekend with a show at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino. Eddie Montgomery took some time out of a busy touring and songwriting schedule to talk about his country roots and the duo's new album.
One of country music's biggest acts, Montgomery Gentry, will take the stage at Dover Downs Friday, Sept. 21 in support of their latest album, "Rebels on the Run," that promises to take fans back to their Montgomery Gentry roots with country anthems, highlighting the working class backgrounds of both Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry.
Eddie Montgomery took a moment from his hectic home-life in Kentucky to talk to about his start in music, new album, touring and the current state of country music.
MB: You've been making music and playing since your childhood, right?
EM: Yeah, we kind of make a joke about it. My mom was a drummer, my dad was a guitar player and the bartenders were our babysitters. And, Troy's dad was the owner of the bar they played at so that's pretty much what we've always done. Just play music.
MB: So, you've known Troy your whole life then?
EM: Almost. Shoot, we've known each other longer than he's known his wife and I've known my ex-wife. It gives us a different background. It's really, really great. You play off each other on stage and you've got somebody up there going through it all with you. Because, let me tell you, it's hard work as a single artist to get up there for an hour and a half or two hours and keep everyone's attention. This way, me and him both get a break and we play off each other. And, we've known each other so long that we know what each other is going to do or we know if one isn't feeling great or needing something during a show to, you know, rock it out.
MB: How have your musical interests changed over the years?
EM: I tell you, I grew up on the stars like the Haggard, Weylon and Willie and Skynard. And, we also were into a lot of local figures. We went around and seen people playing in bars because Kentucky was, at the time, a place with music on every corner every night of the week.
MB: What was the best advice you got from all these local musicians?
EM: Let me tell you, my dad always gave me the best advice. My brother and I — I call him John Boy, y'all call him John Michael—would talk to my dad and he would tell us, 'Boys, if this is what y'all want to do, it's worse than any drug in the world because there's no cure for it. And, if you're going to make it, you got to eat it, sleep it and breathe it.' And, that's probably the best advice there is because that's what we've done. We ate it, slept it and breathed it. And, we rehearsed everyday and played every night. And, you know, we wanted everyone in our band to be the same. We didn't want to be weekend musicians. We wanted to be full-time musicians. And, that's the kind of people we got to play in our band.
MB: So, what's different about your new album, "Rebels on the Run?"
EM: I tell you what, when we left Sony—we got signed to Sony in 1997— it's just like anything else. All the corporations were downsizing and Sony was downsizing and the easiest way to put it is that they had too many cooks in the kitchen and nobody could make up their minds. And, they didn't know what songs to include but Troy or T Roy, as I call him, we know ourselves. We don't call our fans fans. We call them friends and we know who our friends are and what they expect when they come and see us. So, everybody at Sony was scared. So, when we went over to Average Joes Entertainment, our [current] record label, they told us to go make a record and just bring it to them. So, we hooked up with our good buddy, Michael Knox, went into the studio and just had a ball writing and cutting the CD. And, it felt just like when we started out in 1997 when we cut, "Tattoos and Scars."
**Tickets for Friday night's 8 p.m. concert range from $49.50 to $100 and can be purchased through www.doverdowns.com.