Posted on 29 June 2008 by Bill West
Toby Keith’s rise to Hollywood country star hit it’s second wind last night. The North Charleston Coliseum was at about 85 percent capacity but there was enough energy in both Montgomery Gentry and Toby’s sets to fill two arenas.
Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry followed openers Trailer Choir and Carters Chord (in a brilliant marketing move by Keith…both acts are newcomers on Toby’s Showdog Records). Montgomery Gentry in no way gave a truncated show despite their “opener” status. They tore up a long high energy jam filled with hits (including their latest number one (the title track to “Back When I Knew It All”). The duo had energy, and-they sounded great. By the end of their set the crowd had already gotten their money’s worth. Especially the ones with the specially priced $20 “hellraiser” tickets.
Toby opened his production with what seemed like future dvd bonus footage from “Beer For My Horses,” (Toby’s motion picture that comes out August 8th). Fun stuff and another good way to “sell” the movie without realliy selling. Overall, Toby was relaxed and seemed to be really engaged. He put oout one of his best performances I’ve seen. I was told Toby had the tough job of cutting out ten number one hits to keep the show from being too long but I didn’t feel shrtchanged in the least. The pyrotechnics were top notch and plentiful. Another one of his startup Show Dog label artists Mica Roberts added to a few songs in the list including the interesting cover choice of “Smoke from A Distant Fire” a hit from 1977 from the Sanford/Townsend band.
Billed as the “Bigger and Badder” tour it truly delivers an extravaganza. With a tour like this one an the movie coming it may just be time to put Toby BACK into contention for the coveted CMA/ACM Entertainer of The Year Award.
If You Ever Stop Loving Me
Back When I Knew It All
Something To be Proud Of
Now Yer Talkin (New)
Long Line Of Losers (New)
What Do You Think About That
Thank God I’m A Country Boy / Hillbilly Shoes
Toby Keith (with appearance by Mica Roberts)
She’s a Hottie
High Maintenance Woman
I’m Just Talkin About Tonight
I Wanna Talk About Me
Get Drunk and Be Somebody
Get Trashed and Throw t All Away (with Mica Roberts)
Smoke From A Distant Fire
Love Me If You Can
You Shouldn’t Kiss me Like This
She Never Cried In Front Of Me (new)
Who’s Your Daddy
As Good As I once Was
I Love This Bar
Should’ve been A Cowboy
Weed With Willie
Beer For My Horses
How Do You Like Me Now
A Little Less Talk
American Soldier (encore)
Courtesy Of The Red White and Blue (encore)
Posted on 09 June 2008 by Bill West
With "Back When I Knew It All" climbing the radio charts it’s clear to me Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry are really a few thing about what their fans want.
It’s easy to lose track of guys like Montgomery Gentry. They’re kind of in the shadows of the noisy headliners keeping to themselves… until suddenly you realize… whoa… they’ve go about twenty songs you can sing along with and have sold a ton of CDs. With their new project "Back When I Knew It All" hitting stores this week they get a bit noisier while taking the next step to A list.
From my calculations this will be Montgomery Gentry’s 7th cd since 1999’s debut Tattoos and Scars. Eighth if you count a "Super Hits" compilation. They’re doing great but still not household names. However it looks like longevity will be Eddie and Troys friend with a solid new batch of songs and a smart concert booking and party partnership with Toby Keith’s summer tour. (In Charleston 6/29.)
In fact, Toby has a rockin’ duet (or is that now a trio) with MG on the record that’s sure to please the roughneck crowd. "I Pick My Parties" has some radio potential although I’d REALY like to hear a recorded live version.
"We’ve always been consistent about choosing songs that deal with the working class, songs people can identify with," says Troy Gentry and you have to agree when you hear the new material. There’s a lot of southern rock and a lot of soulful soul searching. More heart than is expected from two Kentucky tough guys.
The old fire and brimstone preacher cranks up to the first track then it’s immediately to The Big Revival and setting the table with a full glass f moonshine. Next… "Long Line Of Losers" one of many that opens with a classic southern rock slide guitar and cranks up from there. There’s plenty of tempo to please the party crowd. In fact "One In Every Crowd" (co written by Eddie) is perfect writing for the duo and is worth a good laugh.
The song choices are right on for their fan base. The ballads sound so good I’d like t hear a few more. "You Only Get One Trip" has a classic feel (great line: "order up the good wine… soak up the sunshine."
More than anything else the CD shows off the duo’s heart in their signature hillbilly way. Who else is making hard work look cool these days. Check out "It Ain’t About Easy" and you’ll be ready to plow the field.
Expect to hear three or four on country radio over the next year… I’d expect "One In Every Crowd" and the Toby duet (If they have singles rights). No doubt Eddie and -
TRoy are still in the radio game for two more years with this collection of smart song choices and with the summer tour they’ll have a big stage to show off some new Montgomery Gentry stuff.
Hear "Back When I Knew It All" HERE for Free.