THE NEWEST RELEASE
"As Bring It On Home’s Sonny Boy Williamson–inspired title implies, Montgomery uses the 11 cuts to pay tribute to his mentors, including James Cotton and the late Junior Wells, who taught him the tricks of blowing harp. Cotton duets with Montgomery on the acoustic numbers "Sinkin’ Blues" and "Junior’s Jump," the latter a tune Montgomery wrote using some of his favorite Wells licks.
For Montgomery, the disc is a joyous recollection of his earliest days as a musician, when Wells, Cotton, John Lee Hooker, and other artists playing the Hastings Street dives and after-hours clubs of his native Detroit would let him sit in — giving the white teenager an on-the-job education in how to play Delta-derived electric blues. Bring It On Home is also a manifesto of sorts. Montgomery, who lives in Providence, explains, "I found that people in the industry were confused. ‘James Montgomery? Kind of blues, kind of rock, and kind of funk?’ Because in my previous albums I had tried to show the paths that blues had taken. But I’ve always considered them blues records.
"So this time I went back to my roots. The producer Marc Copley, who also played guitar, is kind of a cutting-edge guy. So we decided to put together an album that proves I’m a blues musician, but we also wanted it to be textural — to put spooky and dark things in the background. Once we had that concept, we picked songs that referenced artists who meant a lot to me."
The blend of gutty blues — buoyed by Montgomery’s direct, gritty singing and his command of a wide spray of electric- and acoustic-harmonica tones — and moody sonics works well. Low, tremolo’d guitar awash with reverb sends chills through "Back on My Knees Again"; subtle shifts in the guitar’s presence and attack (from slide to tremolo to rumbling rhythm) on the Willie Dixon–penned and Williamson-associated title number has the effect of raising the spirits of the music’s past. For the present, Montgomery has a killer version of his band together, featuring drummer Marty Richards, bassist David Hull, and guitarist
Matt Woodburn" - The Boston Phoenix
"...rocking out at HARPERS FERRY and still getting the job done with authority."
Steve Morse, BOSTON GLOBE
"...Blues journeymen usually miss out on the hosannas, but this perennial NE bandleader keeps on keeping on, earning his regional acclaim with much chutzpah. I still get a kick out of his harp playing and his rough-n-tumble combo can definitely make a room buzz"
THE VILLAGE VOICE
"...a fresh-rocking band starring two young Europeans: drummer David Spreng from Munich, and bassist Curt Uenela from Montreux, Switzerland. Together with guitarist Mark Barnicle, they helped singer-harpist Montgomery hit new peaks at Harpers [Ferry], both on Montgomery's original songs and on searing covers of tunes by Little Willie John, Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, and a Delta-rocking version of Mose Allison's 'Ain't That Just Like Living' "
"NEWPORT BLUES CAFE: Housed in a former bank, this is the place to catch live music. The "Amistad" cast and crew held their wrap party here; Matthew McConaughey grooved to the sounds of bluesman James Montgomery"
IN STYLE Magazine