Like many recent releases, Eddie Montgomery's first solo album was born out of the pandemic. A much more solemn occurrence was the ongoing grief trying to process the 2017 death of his band mate of 35 years, Troy Gentry.
The lead-off, title track is a hard charging ode to the pandemic, giving thanks to Amazon and credit cards. One of his solutions to isolation is stringing up his Christmas lights and inviting everyone in. The big baritone and quirky lyrics evoke Blake Shelton.
The most personal song, "Alive and Well," follows. It is about a part of his soul, his life and loved ones gone too soon who still live inside him. The song is clearly a catharsis. One would think that the tone would be somber given the source for inspiration. Ironically, the collection is generally upbeat and even laced with some radio friendly gloss. Montgomery has a writing credit on eight of the 11 tracks
A duet with Tanya Tucker, "Higher," is a rolling barroom lament - realizing that he has been high on booze, the love of a woman is the ultimate rush.
Love and loss, the importance of parenting, and strong values pervade the collection. It all adds up to a tribute album. He recently said, "I want to keep Montgomery Gentry alive until I die," He and Montgomery Gentry continue to tour. It will never be the same, but it feels like he is trying his level best. to make it just that.