Whether it’s recording with Kid Rock, sitting in with Gregg Allman, or fronting his band of 30 years, blues legend James Montgomery plays with authority. While growing up in Detroit, he learned firsthand from the masters – James Cotton, John Lee Hooker, and Jr. Wells – at the legendary “Chessmate.” Over the years, Montgomery has carried on in the tradition and continues to be a vital presence in Blues as one of the most dynamic performers on the scene.
He formed the James Montgomery Band in 1970 while attending Boston University. Montgomery’s inimitable harmonica playing, combined with his energetic live shows, led to the band’s quick ascension on the New England music scene. Within two years, the James Montgomery Band was among the hottest acts in Boston, along with J. Geils and Aerosmith, and they were quickly signed to a multi-album deal with Capricorn records.
Since that time, James has recorded six albums. His first, First Time Out, has been re-mastered and re-released by MRG/Capricorn. Others include James Montgomery Band on Island Records, which was number nine on Billboard’s national playlist; Duck Fever, with members of the David Letterman Band; Live Trax, with the Uptown Horns (the Rolling Stones’ horn section); and his release on Tone-Cool, The Oven Is On.
Montgomery has toured with major artists including Aerosmith, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, the Allman Brothers, Steve Miller and others. He has jammed on stage with B.B. King, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Jr. Wells, James Cotton, Charlie Daniels, Bonnie Raitt, Gregg Allman, Laverne Baker, Patti LaBelle, and Peter Wolf, among others, including an impromptu session with Mick Jagger at New York’s “Trax.”
Over the years, Montgomery’s band has been a springboard for many musicians, with members having included Billy Squire, Wayne Kramer (MC-5), Jeff Golub (Rod Stewart), Jim McCarty (Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels), Jeff Pevar (Ray Charles Orchestra and Crosby, Stills & Nash), Bobby Chouinard (drummer with Ted Nugent, Squire, and Robert Gordon), Jeff Levine (Joe Cocker), Aerosmith’s Tom Gambel, and many others.
Tickets are $25. THE BLACK BOX, home of the Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC), is located at 15 West Central Street in downtown Franklin. A cash bar is available. For tickets and more information, visit www.THEBLACKBOXonline.com or call (508) 528-3370.