Monte Montgomery

Wishing Well

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Monte Montgomery takes the challenge of being a male soloist well, creating a great mix of vocals and instruments to form many different sounds in his latest collection of modern electric blues music. While from the beginning it appears that the album will fall into a repetitious sound, making every song sound alike, Montgomery quickly breaks from that pattern to really create a solid mix of music. While the subjects of his songs vary -- from relationships in the first track, "Tug of War," to many others -- what the songs do have in common is their masterful lyrics. Montgomery has the songwriting ability to tell a story fluidly, without the overuse of chorus lines and repetition. In an age of poor songwriting, it is refreshing to open the liner notes and see magical and lengthy poetry. Perhaps the best example, as well as the best track on the album, is "Erased," a slower song that sounds very similar to a middle-aged Bob Dylan. A hopeful song with a catchy sound, it really draws the listener in as well as highlights Montgomery's vast vocal talents. Of course, this album isn't all about the lyrics. "Bagpipe" is a wonderful instrumental piece that combines great acoustic and electric guitar playing with some catchy percussion sounds. It is a nice break in the record, giving the listener a break from Montgomery's voice, while at the same time showing off his and his bandmates' instrumental talents as they create a great bagpipe sound, without actually playing the instrument. A true highlight for this record. Montgomery ends the album on a high note, with a somewhat fast-paced and upbeat song, "Radio Girl." It is unlike the other tracks in that it has a jazzy sound, leaving the listener feeling good after the record completes. This comes after the marathon song, "All on Me," which combines unbelievable electric guitar with Montgomery's voice and a nice chorus background. On an album that mixes vocals with instruments so well, this is a perfect track, because it does both of those things so well, for over seven minutes.

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