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Adam Gascoyne

Adam Gascoyne

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The Kentucky duo Montgomery Gentry underlined the kinship between country music and Southern rock. Formed in the late '90s, the duo rode their hit streak until Troy Gentry's sudden death in 2017. The pair were childhood friends and sometime bandmates, with Eddie Montgomery hailing from Danville, Kantucky and Troy Gentry from Lexington. Montgomery came from a musical family and his first bands included his parents and his younger brother John Michael Montgomery, later a hitmaker in his own right. Gentry joined the formative band Early Tymz and played in a short-lived trio with both Montgomery brothers. Gentry got his first recognition in 1994, when he won a Jim Beam-sponsored talent contest and landing some high-profile opening slots. He and Eddie Montgomery reunited soon after, in a duo first called Deuce and then Montgomery Gentry. The duo's 1999 debut, Tattoos and Scars, was a hit both with the old-school honky-tonkers and the Skynyrd/Allmans diehards. The pair alternated lead vocals (writing was largely done by outsiders) and the songs alternately celebrated old-fashioned, hard-working values (the third hit, "Daddy Won't Sell the Farm") and the pleasures of hellraising (the fifth hit, "All Night...

The Kentucky duo Montgomery Gentry underlined the kinship between country music and Southern rock. Formed in the late '90s, the duo rode their hit streak until Troy Gentry's sudden death in 2017. The pair were childhood friends and sometime bandmates, with Eddie Montgomery hailing from Danville, Kantucky and Troy Gentry from Lexington. Montgomery came from a musical family and his first bands included his parents and his younger brother John Michael Montgomery, later a hitmaker in his own right. Gentry joined the formative band Early Tymz and played in a short-lived trio with both Montgomery brothers. Gentry got his first recognition in 1994, when he won a Jim Beam-sponsored talent contest and landing some high-profile opening slots. He and Eddie Montgomery reunited soon after, in a duo first called Deuce and then Montgomery Gentry. The duo's 1999 debut, Tattoos and Scars, was a hit both with the old-school honky-tonkers and the Skynyrd/Allmans diehards. The pair alternated lead vocals (writing was largely done by outsiders) and the songs alternately celebrated old-fashioned, hard-working values (the third hit, "Daddy Won't Sell the Farm") and the pleasures of hellraising (the fifth hit, "All Night Long," which featured country-rock founder Charlie Daniels). A later single, "Hell Yeah," combined both themes and threw a Merle Haggard namecheck into the bargain. They developed the sound to great success on a string of albums for Columbia, covering an Allman Brothers song ("Good Clean Fun") on Carrying On and working with two Allmans sidemen (Johnny Neel and Chuck Leavell) on My Town.  2004 brought "If You Ever Stop Loving Me"- not just their first Number One (of five total), but the first ever to include the line "Hard times, bad luck, sometimes life sucks."  Another hit from that year, "You Do Your Thing," summed up their attitude, sounding like an update of Skynyrd's "Simple Man." The duo was inaugurated into the Grand Ole Opry in 2009 at Charlie Daniels' behest, and worked with other country stars including Toby Keith (on the single "I Pick My Parties") and Tracy Byrd (on his hit "The Truth About Men"). Despite a change of labels and a temporary commercial slump they continued to score hits into the 2010s.  The 2011 album Rebels on the Run included the eyebrow-raising single "Titty's Beer"-actually about a guy named Titus who sells beer, but the lyric worked the double entendre for all it was worth. Montgomery Gentry were bound for a New Jersey concert on September 8, 2017, when the helicopter Gentry was riding crashed. His death shook the country world and a new single featuring Gentry's lead, "Better Me," was released later that month. The duo had completed an album set for 2018 release.

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