Upon first listening to Bonnie Montgomery, it’s easy to mistakenly assume that you’ve stumbled upon a long-buried track by a legend from the golden era of country/western music. Such is the artistry of this Arkansas native and silver-voiced songstress. Her story is of her journey, but she presents it through a folk/bluegrass/country perspective that’s traditional and timeless.
With "Forever", her second full-length album, Montgomery once again delves into classic country sounds and storytelling.
“It’s a concept album inspired by Willie Nelson’s Phases and Stages,” Montgomery says. “The songs are about life on the road, loss, and the mysticism of West Texas. We recorded it with love and magic in Austin, Texas, at Dale Watson’s Ameripolitan Studios."
Montgomery’s stunning vocal chops and ability to draw listeners in with her natural songwriting talent should come as no surprise: her musical roots run deep. Brought up among the never-ending sound of music that flowed through her family’s Arkansas music store, her childhood was heavily steeped in Ozark bluegrass, Texas swing, Delta blues, as well as gospel and rock and roll. Surrounded by talented musicians that ran the gamut from performers on the original Sun Records to bluegrass greats and opera singers, Montgomery expanded her musical horizons and began performing whenever possible.
Classically-trained and ready to bring her own distinct sound to the world, Montgomery released her first two EP’s (Cruel in 2011 followed by Joy in 2013) before debuting her first full-length, self-titled album in 2014. She traveled the U.S. and Europe on a tour for the album, sharing the stage with artists such as Gossip, Shovels and Rope, Robert Ellis, Hayes Carll, Billy Jo Shaver, Turnpike Troubadours, Pokey LaFarge, Wayne “The Train” Hancock, Joe Ely, Moot Davis, Mike and the Moonpies, Dale Watson, Chris Stapleton, Jason James, and Sturgill Simpson, among others.
2016 was a big year for Montgomery. It kicked off with her being named the Ameripolitan Outlaw Female of the Year. Springtime marked the premiere of her modern folk opera Billy Blythe (written about the childhood of Arkansas native Bill Clinton) by Opera Ithaca in New York. The show won the attention of critics at The New Yorker, The Economist, The Huffington Post, and the London Daily Telegraph.
With the release of "Forever", the journey continues. On the stage and up the highway, through love and despair, and from the Arkansas foothills to the vastness of West Texas: there’s no telling where Montgomery will take her listeners next.