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Country’s Montgomery Gentry are ‘just friends having fun’

Eddie Montgomery (left) Troy Gentry Montgomery Gentry perform benefit concert last month Nashville Tenn. |  Frederick BreedIV~Getty Images

Eddie Montgomery (left) and Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry perform at a benefit concert last month in Nashville, Tenn. | Frederick Breedon IV~Getty Images

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Montgomery
Gentry

♦ 7:30 p.m. May 31
♦ Congress Theater, 2135 N. Milwaukee
♦ Tickets, $15-$45
♦ (773) 360-8162;
venuecongresschicago.com

Montgomery Gentry credits the duo’s longevity and strong working relationship to the fact that their partnership sprung out of an existing friendship, not one assembled by Nashville.

“Me and T [Troy Gentry] put it together, we just know each other,” said Eddie Montgomery during a recent interview. “I reckon we’re like a married couple, sort of. You hear horror stories all the time about duos, but we’ve always just been friends having fun and making music.”

Montgomery Gentry is also enjoying a bit of freedom at the moment. After nearly 10 years with Columbia Nashville, the duo left to join Colt Ford’s Average Joes label in 2011. The duo released “Rebels on the Run” through the label that year, and an EP, “Friends and Family,” last fall. The two are on a national tour through 2014.

Montgomery said he appreciates all they learned in their time on a major label, but at the same time, they discovered that there’s a lot of fear at major labels.

“They’ll be scared to take a chance and put their name on a [project], because if it doesn’t work, they lose their job,” Montgomery said. “If it does work, they’re scared that they didn’t put their name on it.”

Montgomery grew up in an era when country stars were characters, like Charlie Daniels and Hank Williams Jr. They weren’t always safe and radio-friendly, and that was a large part of their appeal.

For the duo’s live shows, Montgomery Gentry has a wide variety of tunes to choose from, with more than a dozen Top 10 hits (including five No. 1s). In concert, Montgomery said, the duo always has strived to give the fans what they want.

“We don’t call them fans, we call them friends,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of friends backing us up since Day 1. We always do the hits, but luckily enough for us, we’ve had a bunch. We started putting them all in, but the show got over two hours long, and we had to back down. That’s a great problem to have.”

Gannett News Service



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