"In my time I've tried it all, free love drugs and alcohol/ got loaded up to kiss the sky
just about kissed the world good-bye/ there are those that never made it back/ me I got lucky and found a lemon path." - Ain't Got It All That Bad. - Rutherford-Teren- Thurston.

Turbo tonking Kentucky duo Montgomery Gentry believes in direct marketing.

Eddy Montgomery and Troy Gentry don't throw songs at the wall and hope they stick to the charts.

Thirty years after Waylon & Willie kick started the outlaw sub genre they emulate their mentors.

But, unlike the Texan stars and peers, the two tenors rarely write their own material.
Eddie played with chart topping brother John Michael in a family band before teaming with Gentry on the Lexington bar circuit where they backed the pre fame star.

So when they started recording they took writers on tour to soak up their audience.

"We actually rented some buses and got a bunch of writers and loaded them up," Eddy revealed, "we wanted them to see what our friends and fans are like and what we're about live.

So we loaded up buses and started taking writers to our shows. I don't even know how many songs we ended up getting out of that, but they saw what we were about. They got it, and that's where a lot of our songs come from."


Charlie Daniels joined the duo on All Night Long on debut disc Tattoos & Scars and Hank Williams Jr on I Ain't Got It All That Bad on fourth album You Do Your Thing (Sony).

"That's also kind of our way to pay tribute to our heroes that we grew up listening to," says Gentry.

"Those are the guys - Charlie Daniels, the Waylon, Willie, Hank Jr. Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers - responsible for Montgomery Gentry sound. We played their songs for so many years in the clubs; they molded us. That's just a way to say thanks and tribute to all the great music they put into our lives. And hopefully we can transfer that and carry on their tradition through our music on to the next generation."

Daniels first toured Australia with the Little River Band and Australian Crawl in 1980 before returning in 1998.

Charlie, now 67, and Hank Jr, 55, entered the country war song furore with jingoistic anthems that polarised fans, peers and radio.

Montgomery Gentry have mined the blue-collar market without raising the flag as high as their mentors.

Nothing is left to chance for the dynamic duo who have consummated a country rock shotgun wedding of sorts with little collateral damage.


With Jim Beam as the duo's tour sponsor for four years, alcohol figures prominently in their music.

Examples are Jeffrey Steele-Craig Wiseman redemption requiem She Loved Me and Gentry's co-write with Jason Sellers and Michael Dulaney on Talkin' to My Angel.

The chasers are I Got Drunk - penned by former Joe Ely and Dixie Chicks guitarist David Grissom and Chris Stapleton and David Lee Murphy-Kim Tribble tune If It's The Last Thing I Do.

Steele, Boy Howdy refugee and solo artist, also wrote Gone and All I Know About Mexico - replete with Harley metaphor for a departed lover.

"We're not just singing about ourselves," says Montgomery.

"We're singing about people that we know and deal with every day. There are people who come to our parties who don't have a thing to drink, and there are people who come to our parties and like to get drunker than hell. We're just going to sing about all of it. Anything in your life that you have to deal with in everyday fashion, that's what we sing about."

The direct marketing worked - they celebrated first #1 single If You Ever Stop Loving Me from gold album and DVD You Do Your Thing.

The hit was penned by co-producer Rivers Rutherford, Tom Shapiro and Pam Tillis's second ex singing spouse Bob DiPiero.

Shapiro's 22nd #1 hit and DiPiero's 14th chart topper adorn a disc with four producers.

Blake Chancey helmed three tunes before walking the Sony plank and handed reigns to Joe Scaife, Rutherford and Steele.

Montgomery hones marketing in ABC sit-com Rodney starring Rodney Carrington, best known for comedic classic Letter To My Penis and Mac Davis - making a mint from hits he penned for Elvis.

"I'm definitely a musician, not an actor," Montgomery insists. "I'll have a recurring role in it. It's just kind of ironic my character owns a bar.

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