Despite a CMA nomination for vocal duo of the year, Montgomery Gentry recently parted ways with Columbia Records. Some industry insiders predicted a change was coming when Montgomery Gentry decided to release a greatest hits project, which hits stores on September 28th. While the split was amicable, when I talked with Troy Gentry, just days before the news broke about the record label split, he eluded to the fact that the duo was looking for a new perspective.
While the album is probably a transition for the powerhouse duo, Troy Gentry still seems excited about the greatest hits compilation. Gentry says, "we were in the studio for, shoot, what seemed like forever this time around, trying to create a perfect album." He says the pair recorded a bunch of songs, but didn't feel like they had a complete album and were "still lacking a little bit of something."
That's when they brought in Michael Knox. Knox is a hot commodity right now in Nashville. He's had success with Jason Aldean and is producing Trace Adkin's new album. Trace Adkins, of course, recently joined Toby Keith's new record label, which suggests that's were Montgomery Gentry will land. Gentry says that when they recorded four new songs with Knox, "we finally found what we were missing...which I think was just a fresh set of ears." Those four new songs are on the greatest hits album. "It's a great catch up album," says Gentry. "You can get what has happened with us the last three years and get some great new music as well."
You can bet that those news songs will have to do with the common man. Montgomery Gentry has built their career on such songs, which Gentry says is the kind of stuff he grew up listening to.
"When Eddie and I go looking for songs, that's the stuff we look for, and grew up on. Stuff like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Merle, Hank, Waylon Jennings, and Cash." Gentry says that all of those folks sang about everyday life and situational stuff, like the hard knocks of life. "That's what we tried to bring to the table when we started recording songs," Gentry says. "stuff that has some substance to it and, whether it was good or bad, people could kind of feel like they could be that person in the song."
When I asked Troy Gentry who he likes listening to these days, he said he is a big Jason Aldean fan. "He kind of reminds me of us at a younger age, but his music is a little bit more current. I like his stuff. He's got a great vibe going on." He also likes Lady Antbellum. "I like the chemistry the three of them have and the way they vocalize together. Plus their music and message is good-feeling stuff too."
Montgomery Gentry is playing some shows this fall and "have a bit of a new set" to go along with them. They will be playing the new songs from the greatest hits album, plus all of those songs that made Montgomery Gentry famous. You can check out where they are playing on their website.