Monte has earned praise from both critics and fellow musicians not only for his stunning and imaginative six-string work but also for his abilities as a singer and a crafter of ear-catching songs filled with a deep roots sensibility. In January 2005, Monte was featured on the Cover of Frets Magazine with a headline stating “Beware The Awesome Majesty Of The Amped-Up Acoustic Shred Master”. In 2004 Guitar Player Magazine listed Monte as one of America’s Top 50 All-Time Greatest Guitarists. Monte was the first to ever be named by Guitar One magazine on their list of Top 10 Best Undiscovered Guitarists in America. Monte was named the “Best Acoustic Guitar Player” for 7 Years in a Row at the Austin Music Awards.
Monte’s latest Album “Architect” (Harmonic Records - 2004) offers his fans some of the best-written rock & roll songs you’ll hear today along with an extensive variety of first-class musical arrangements, superb vocal presentations and of course brilliant guitar work. The self produced CD also reflects Monte’s skills as an Arranger and Producer displaying one more facet of his seemingly infinite talent.
As Acoustic Guitar Magazine notes, “Monte Montgomery is not your typical up-and-coming guitar god. His exquisitely crafted, melodically and rhythmically sophisticated pop songs suggest the best of Fleetwood Mac, Squeeze and The Police, while just happening to integrate the most mind-boggling guitar work in the state of Texas.”
Growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, Monte first learned piano and trumpet, and by the beginning of his adolescence, was an avid listener to pop radio. After moving to Texas at the age of 12, he joined the legendary musical scene around the restored town of Luckenbach and began his impressive rise as a musical talent. Performing with his mother at a popular Hill Country picking parlor he quickly absorbed everything he could. By his mid-teens, Monte was playing gigs on his own around Austin and San Antonio, both with bands as an electric guitarist and in a variety of acoustic configurations. At the same time, Monte developed his guitar chops from absorbing the work of a variety of respected players such as Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, Mark Knopfler, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Lee, Steve Vai, Steve Morse and Larry Carlton. “I like it all,” he explains of his musical influences.
Leading his own band, Monte began developing his trademark electrified acoustic guitar style. “I started playing acoustic at the beginning of each set, the response was so overwhelming that I kept the acoustic up there longer and longer. Then I just started playing all acoustic. I found I could do anything on an acoustic guitar I could do on an electric if I turned it up loud enough.”
After living and playing in San Antonio for a time, Monte set out to make his mark in the highly competitive Austin musical community. Starting with a $50 half-hour gig at a small Austin Pub on a Tuesday night, Monte quickly attracted packed houses and graduated to filling the biggest clubs in the city. His live performances and albums have earned him words of praise in the music press and an ever-widening touring circuit throughout the U.S. As Texas Monthly noted, “He brings taste, precision, economy and a playful sense of timing to popish songs with sturdy hooks and sings in a voice that’s equal parts grit and sunshine. And when you have the ability to make one guitar sound like two, who needs any more support than bass and drums.”
Monte caught the ear of Austin City Limits producer Terry Lickona, who invited the relatively unknown talent to tape a segment of the legendary show. When Lickona introduced Monte to the audience, he described Monte’s talent in a simple yet profound statement: “Monte Montgomery blows people away. There is no other way to describe it.”
When word about Monte’s virtuosity reached the folks at Alvarez Guitars. They quickly took a keen interest and secured Monte’s endorsement. In the meantime Monte’s reputation as the Hottest Acoustic Guitarist on the planet was being cultivated as he toured nationwide. This led to the introduction of the MMY-1 Monte Montgomery Signature Guitar, which was unveiled at the Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California in January 2004.
Monte’s considerable musical talents have come to fruition. As leader of his own band, he continues as a national touring act and has shown a side that’s more than a new found “Texas Guitar Slinger”. His electrifying live shows deliver a dynamic rock n’ roll experience with rich, stunning guitar work and powerful song deliveries. Monte sings and writes songs that are concise and contemporary and although his music contains a lot of guitar it’s more than just a guitar show. With an appeal that extends to listeners of all ages and tastes, Monte has been making a living playing and singing for most of his life, building a career through his own hard work and talent. In fact, it’s almost as if his future as a musician was all but fated. “I never woke up and said, what am I supposed to be doing with my life? I always knew, even before I played guitar, that I was going to be doing music, one way or another.”