Montgomery Gentry gives free concert to promote CD

May 18, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

LEXINGTON - The more hectic his schedule becomes, the more Eddie Montgomery likes it.

"It has been wild and crazy lately, but we love it that way," said Montgomery. "We can't thank all our hometown folks who have backed us up from the start enough. That's why we are here tonight doing this. It's just a way to say thanks."

Montgomery and Troy Gentry performed a free concert here Monday night as part of the release of their fourth CD, You Do Your Thing, which went on sale today.

The hour-long concert, which came after a 30-minute rain and lightning storm, attracted numerous Montgomery Gentry fans from Boyle County, where Montgomery lives.


"This album is definitely our best work," Montgomery said before Monday's concert. "We did something a little unusual for country music. Usually you have just one producer for an album, but me and T (Troy) have never played by the rules so we have four producers on this album. That's why it is our best work. And what better place to release it than here with all our friends."

The two singers certainly will be doing their best to promote the CD. They were in Cincinnati Monday morning and have shows scheduled in St. Louis, Dallas and California today to coincide with the album's release. They will make a late-night appearance on ABC-TV with Jimmy Kimmel tonight. Friday they will be on the Jay Leno Show. An appearance is also set with the CBS Morning Show as well as a spot on Fox with Ryan Seacrest.

"We are booked across the country until New Year's Eve (in Rupp Arena), but we are having fun," Montgomery said. "As long as people want to listen to us and buy albums, we are going to keep playing.

"I have woke up and wondered where I am at because of all the traveling we do, but I figure as long as somebody can get me to the stage, I can do the rest of it. I like performing for our fans."

Montgomery will be on TV this fall

Montgomery Gentry fans will also be able to see him on TV this fall. He's just learned that a pilot for a Rodney Carrington show produced by Touchstone Television has been picked up by ABC-TV. He'll play a bar owner.

"I just put some stuff on tape and sent it out to my west coast manager," Montgomery said. "I've known Rodney Carrington for a while and they needed a bar owner for a pilot they were filming and thought I would be perfect for the part.

"I definitely found out I am a better musician than actor. Once you hit the stage, you get to keep rolling without some director yelling, 'Cut.' But I'm glad the show got picked up. They said they would work around my schedule."

It's a schedule with few breaks because of the group's success that includes two platinum albums and one gold album. They'll be the opening act at the Academy of Country Music Awards show next week and certainly will bring the same enthusiasm and showmanship to the stage and a CBS-TV audience that they did here Monday night.

"It's just been an unbelievable ride for us," Montgomery said before posing for pictures and signing autographs before the concert. "Me and T took baby steps together first and that was the way we wanted to do it. We grew up in honky-tonks. That's where we learned how to play and sing.

"Hopefully in 20 years when you walk back in one of those places you will see people remembering our names and still listening to our music. If that happens, then we'll know we've done something."

Fans lined up to have CD autographed

Based on the number of fans who bought the newest CD and lined up after the concert to have them autographed, Montgomery Gentry has already "done something" big.

"I just hope a bunch of people back in Boyle County have the album Tuesday and they have it turned up loud and rocking," Montgomery said. "We have fun with life and want people to have fun when they listen to our music."

However, success won't change Montgomery. A TV show, another successful album and celebrity status won't make him forget where home is.

"If I am dreaming, I don't want anybody to pinch me and wake me up," Montgomery said. "I am just a country boy and that's all I am ever going to be. They are going to bury me in Danville. I am not going anywhere. I am staying right where I belong.

"I can fly back and forth to LA. I am not that far from Nashville. If they let me get buried on the farm, I probably will be buried right there. I'm having the time of my life and enjoying everything we are doing, but I'm still the same country boy I've always been and always will be. That's what makes this so much fun."

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