Interview with Montgomery Gentry

Country music superstars Montgomery Gentry will be riding into Salamanca for one show only on Friday, Aug. 28 at the Seneca Allegany Events Center.
The country duo have been together making music for a decade and a half and are still rolling strong with sold out shows wherever they go.  Their new album, “Folks Like Us,” which they released at the beginning of summer, is moving up the charts.
The word “chemistry” is synonymous when talking about the Kentucky born singers that have accomplished what they set out to do almost 16 years ago. “It’s a chemistry that’s worked for years,” states Troy Gentry. “It doesn’t get old or sterile,” he adds.
I had the pleasure of catching up with Gentry from his home in Nashville to talk about the new album and the mentor that took them under his wing when they started out - who gave them some good advice and ended up being a big part of helping the duo cross off a major event on their bucket list.
Montgomery Gentry has stayed true to their sound and their choice of songs to record, keeping the working class American theme still going strong on radio stations across the country and foremost in the minds of their ever increasing fan base. “We’re seeing the fans that grew up listening to our music now coming to our shows with their kids, which gives us a two generation fan base that is really cool to see,” said Gentry.
Having played in the Western New York area many times over the past 16 years, the singer does not recall ever performing at Seneca Allegany Casino but stated he has looked at the property online and is excited to get here and hang out with the some of the greatest fans in the world and showcase a few of their songs from the new album, as well as some of the fan favorites, “Hillbilly Shoes” and “Headlights”.
Visit www.montgomerygentry.comfor more information on the duo.
Visit www.senecacasinos.comfor ticket information.
HULICK: You have a new album out titled “Folks Like Us.”  Can you tell me a little bit about it?
GENTRY: It was released June 9 and it’s more great stuff from Montgomery Gentry. Eddie (Montgomery) and I took a lot of time song searching for this record and it covers the same theme as our past records - our family, our faith, our American pride and all the hard working Americans out there and partying on the weekends.
HULICK: You have had number one hits and million selling albums, but I read you are most grateful for your Grand Ole Opry membership induction in 2009.
GENTRY: Yes, that’s a pretty cool honor to have bestowed upon you. The Grand Ole Opry is something I grew up on in our house and I know Eddie’s family did as well. So when we first came to town that was one of the things we set our sights on … it was on our bucket list of things we wanted to accomplish. That’s an elite group of people. They invite all artists to perform there, but not everybody gets invited to be a part of the membership. It was very flattering and an honor to be asked to be a part of that group.
HULICK: Do you remember where you were when you found out you were going to become a member?
GENTRY: We were actually on stage. They have a tradition at the Opry of keeping the invitation such a secret that the artist does not know about the ask until they are asked. So the night we were performing, one of our mentors, Charlie Daniels, happened to be in town and he was the one that approached us and asked us to become members. Charlie has been a mentor to us and took us under his wing when we first came to Nashville. When we cut our first record, “Tattoos & Scars,” there was a song that we re-cut that Charlie did called “All Night Long” that we put on the record. We asked him if he would come into the studio and play the fiddle and be a part of the video for the song. He was very gracious to accept those invitations. He kind of took us under his wing and mentored us and gave us advice like … stay true to yourself, don’t change to be something you’re not. He spent a lot of time with us, having a lot of sit down talks. I always admired him, but that made a bigger impression on me that somebody of that stature would take two guys he didn’t know and spend that much time with us … and then to have him be the one to ask us to be a member of the Opry was that much cooler.
HULICK: That’s a great story. Have you and Eddie come to the realization that you are going to be that mentor to an up and coming artist(s) that Charlie Daniels was to you?
GENTRY: I hope that we can take on that role as a mentor. We have talked to a couple of acts in the past couple years that grew up listening to our music and covering some of our songs in the clubs. There is one artist that is a songwriter that hung out with us for a couple days and he ended up getting himself a record deal and he said he would have never thought to become an artist if it hadn’t been for hanging out with us. So we are starting to hear and see some of that with some of the younger acts that are coming up.
HULICK: That must be an awesome feeling.
GENTRY: It makes me feel old! (laughs)
HULICK: (laughs) I want to mention that you and Eddie are big in charity works, and I don’t think that is brought up enough in the media these days and I think it’s important to bring up that side of an artist. As a matter of fact, in 2010 you won the ACM Humanitarian Award and I think you should be commended for the charity work you do.
GENTRY: Well thank you. We’ve been given the opportunity to do something great with our talent and it would not be right if we didn’t take some responsibility to help others out in need when we can.
HULICK: Are you guys having as much fun or more out on the road these days?
GENTRY: We’re having as much fun. Both Eddie and I still enjoy traveling … we’re road dogs. We love being on stage and performing live. As long as people continue to have us, we’ll continue to hit the road and get out there and play.
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