Tattoos & Scars/Carrying On

Montgomery Gentry

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Tattoos & Scars/Carrying On Review

by Thom Jurek

Interestingly, T-Bird Americana releases this two-fer of Montgomery Gentry's first two albums on Sony Music Nashville on the same day as Rebels on the Run, the duo's first independent release on their Average Joe's Entertainment imprint. Tattoos & Scars was originally issued in 1999. At that time, the duo and their loud and proud electric band were among the first to attempt to resurrect the ghost of Southern rock while combining it with new tradtionalist country in a heady, testosterone-saturated stew. Given its first three singles -- "Hillbilly Shoes," "Lonely and Gone," and "Daddy Won't Sell the Farm" all charted in the Top 20 of the country charts with two more entering the Top 40 -- the duo had a winner on their hands; the album eventually went platinum. Between videos and touring, the band won themselves an enormous following right out of the gate. They followed that album with Carryin' On in 2001. Montgomery Gentry chose to showcase the modern country side of their persona with their lead-off single "She Couldn't Change Me," which peaked at number two on the country chart and entered Billboard's Hot 100 at number 37. While the second single from the record, "Cold One Comin' On," didn't chart as well, it was nonetheless well-received at radio and showcased the band's willingness to grow their music from the rough and rowdy aspects of their debut, though that side is here as well in the fine, stomping cover of Waylon Jennings' "Ramblin' Man" and the controversial rebel anthem "Carryin' On." The set was eventually certified gold and, in retrospect, is a very consistent and logical outgrowth of the sound displayed on Tattoos & Scars. Taken together, these two recordings prefigure the way Montgomery Gentry's sound has unfolded to the present day. As reissues go, these two albums arveryey well suited to one another, and certainly stand the test of time well.

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