It was with sadness that we learned this week that Eddie Montgomery has prostate cancer. The Inky Jukebox likes Mr. Montgomery because he manages, like a good rodeo clown, to excel at what he does by being who he is. Example: he reinforces everything you suspect about celebrity twittering: Dude tweets from the tour bus or plane late at night when he can’t sleep and uses a lot of exclamation points.
This unhappy news reminded me that high on the list of shows I saw this year were Montgomery Gentry (named after Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry); they headlined the Country Throwdown tour and let me tell you something: it was a long hot day full of one stellar act after another; by the time these guys took the stage most folks were sporting severe sunburns and were on their seventh or eleventh beer. It was a rowdy crowd who voiced their wholehearted dedication to the band by singing along so loud at times they rivaled the PA system (no mean feat).
Troy and Eddie put on a hell of a show, though: a couple of hours that consisted of one hit after another, Eddie in his trademark long black duster and flat hat, Troy in sparkles playing flashy guitars. Eddie wields his mic stand as if it’s a cross between a cheerleader’s baton and a lion tamer’s whip. Here’s how they operate as a duo: Eddie sings the verses and Troy steps in to ramp up the vocal for the choruses. (Some People Change) They deliver songs about being rednecks, mostly, and being good Southern boys with old fashioned traditions and beliefs (My Town). These include getting drunk; wrecking cars; not giving a shit what anyone thinks of you; being surprised to have grown up; giving props to the military; and being down with Jesus. Typical stuff. (There’s One in Every Crowd) As such, they are the kind of band your Democrat friends wince at if they hear it blaring out of your car window as you sing along to “Long Line of Losers.”
This was the song I think the crowd sang loudest to, come to think of it. Perhaps it was the alcohol.
When you see Montgomery Gentry being interviewed, you notice a couple of things right off the bat. One, that they both have preternaturally white teeth. Their teeth are so damn dazzling they could misdirect incoming aircraft. Eddie was raised in a church where they handled snakes; no way are his real teeth that color. Two: Troy comes across as dumb as shit. Clearly he is not. Together they sound like what they actually are: childhood buddies having a lark. ("Hell Yeah")
I’ll say it: I love this band. I don’t care how cheesy or clichéd their songs are, or that they are beloved by folks with very different political beliefs than me. Every song on all of their records is great. The Inky Jukebox hopes Eddie makes a full recovery because I want to see them in concert again. ASAP. (How self-serving is that!) Why is there not a concert DVD, guys? Huh?
If you are going to only listen to one of their songs, check out this little gem: Roll With Me. (Eddie: “He sang the crap out of it.”)
This is pretty funny: Speed.
Hear the boys speak about their songs at Montgomery Gentry's You Tube Channel