Wishing Well (2001)

  1. Wishing Well (2001)Tug of War
  2. Wishing Well
  3. I Know What You Want
  4. Catch Me
  5. Tomorrow Begins With Today
  6. Erased
  7. Broken Arms
  8. Soldier at His Best
  9. Bagpipe
  10. Sunset Lullaby
  11. All on Me
  12. Radio Girl

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Monte Montgomery takes the challenge of being a male soloist well, creating a great mix of vocals and instruments to form many different sounds in his latest collection of modern electric blues music. While from the beginning it appears that the album will fall into a repetitious sound, making every song sound alike, Montgomery quickly breaks from that pattern to really create a solid mix of music. While the subjects of his songs vary — from relationships in the first track, “Tug of War,” to many others — what the songs do have in common is their masterful lyrics. Montgomery has the songwriting ability to tell a story fluidly, without the overuse of chorus lines and repetition. In an age of poor songwriting, it is refreshing to open the liner notes and see magical and lengthy poetry. Perhaps the best example, as well as the best track on the album, is “Erased,” a slower song that sounds very similar to a middle-aged Bob Dylan. A hopeful song with a catchy sound, it really draws the listener in as well as highlights Montgomery’s vast vocal talents. Of course, this album isn’t all about the lyrics. “Bagpipe” is a wonderful instrumental piece that combines great acoustic and electric guitar playing with some catchy percussion sounds. It is a nice break in the record, giving the listener a break from Montgomery’s voice, while at the same time showing off his and his bandmates’ instrumental talents as they create a great bagpipe sound, without actually playing the instrument. A true highlight for this record. Montgomery ends the album on a high note, with a somewhat fast-paced and upbeat song, “Radio Girl.” It is unlike the other tracks in that it has a jazzy sound, leaving the listener feeling good after the record completes. This comes after the marathon song, “All on Me,” which combines unbelievable electric guitar with Montgomery’s voice and a nice chorus background. On an album that mixes vocals with instruments so well, this is a perfect track, because it does both of those things so well, for over seven minutes. (All Music Guide)

From that seemingly bottomless pit of Austin, Texas-based guitarist-songwriters, Monte Montgomery’s third album is a splendid, if journeyman, affair. Montgomery’s voice is strong without being distinguished; his lyrics don’t offer many startling insights into the battle of the sexes and rarely stray from the usual tried-and-tested themes. Still, the material does allow the instrumental work to grab the listener’s attention. With a small coterie of long-term compadres providing the rhythm, guitars are multi-tracked to great effect, notably on the brief instrumental, “Bagpipe.” Known principally for his acoustic guitar playing, Montgomery places it at the heart of most of these songs with layered bluesy slide or electric solos providing the color. The effect is reminiscent of the sound that Lindsey Buckingham produced for Fleetwood Mac. The long ballad “All on Me” gives Montgomery a chance to stretch and his guitar shines on the long fade-out. “Tomorrow Begins with Today” has Montgomery demonstrating his versatility behind a great piano hook and the closing “Radio Girl” mixes tempos effortlessly, creating memorable power pop in the verses, and a big-ballad anthem for the chorus. (Amazon.com)