Move Nearer to the Sacred Peak
James Montgomery was born on May 12, 1949. James is an American blues composer, well-known as the lead vocalist, blues harp player, front-man, and bandleader of The James Montgomery Blues Band. Montgomery cooperates with many star performers and recording artists. He is also the former President of The New England Blues Society.
James Montgomery was born in Detroit, Michigan. He was born and raised in Detroit, where his father, John Montgomery, worked for Chrysler as a public relations executive. One of his brothers, John Montgomery, also worked in the music industry before beginning to be a businessman in the Metro Detroit area. His younger brother, Jeffrey Montgomery, is an LGBT activist basically known for being the founding executive director of Triangle Foundation.
"While going Boston University, where he accomplished a degree in English literature, Mr. Montgomery started the James Montgomery Band. Throughout his junior year, he was hired by the Colwell-Winfield Blues Band to perform harmonica and tour with Janis Joplin. By the time he finished his college, his band was on the cover of the Boston Phoenix, heralded along with J. Geils and Aerosmith as the city's significant contributions to the music world. However, he said he loved the educational life, when offered a $15,000 job at BU, Mr. Montgomery took a $250,000 offer to record records and tour with the Allman Brothers rather, and never looked back."
In the year 1970 Montgomery established The James Montgomery Band. His harmonica playing, singing and energetic stage show led to his band obtaining a reputation as one of the hottest bands on the New England music scene. James Montgomery was signed by Capricorn Records to a multi-album deal and released his 1st vinyl LP album titled The James Montgomery Band – First Time Out in the year 1973. The original LP recordings were remastered and released as a CD on October 20, 1998 by Capricorn / Umgd. Track 9 off his 1st album titled "Train" was a fan favorite and began to be the Number 1 song on WBCN, The Rock of Boston. They performed it every day at noon-time for more than a year. In the year 2011, Montgomery brought "Train" back as an astonish replay at shows.
James Montgomery has traveled with many artists, including Aerosmith, The J. Geils Band, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, The Allman Brothers, The Steve Miller Band, The Johnny Winter Band, The Blues Brothers with Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd and others.
James Montgomery has performed on stage with a long list of composers including B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Junior Wells, James Cotton, Bonnie Raitt, Steven Tyler, Brad Whitford (Aerosmith guitarist), Charlie Daniels, Gregg Allman, LaVern Baker, Patti LaBelle, Jonathan Edwards, Jerome Geils (The J. Geils Band), Peter Wolf (The J. Geils Band), Magic Dick (The J. Geils Band), Danny Klein (The J. Geils Band), Huey Lewis (Huey Lewis and the News), Kim Wilson (The Fabulous Thunderbirds), Elliot Easton (The Cars), Rick Derringer, Ricky Byrd (formerly with Joan Jett and the Black Hearts), Barry Goudreau (former guitarist for Boston), Fran Sheehan (former bassist for Boston), Sib Hashian (former drummer for Boston), Chad Smith (The Red Hot Chili Peppers), Billy Squier, Michael Carabello (percussionist in Santana), Jon Butcher (Johanna Wild, The Jon Butcher Axis and today Farren Butcher Inc), Bruce Marshall (lead singer/guitarist for The Toy Caldwell Band and The Bruce Marshall Group), Dennis "Fly" Amero (Orleans), Duke Robillard, Jon Pousette-Dart (The Pousette-Dart Band), Jonathan Edwards, Kate Taylor, Christine Ohlman "The Beehive Queen", Mike Finnigan, Grace Kelly, The Uptown Horns, the famous Manhattan. The Uptown Horns is written of Larry Etkin (trumpet), Crispin Cioe(sax), Arno Hecht (sax), and Bob Funk (trombone). Their signature horn riffs can be heard on American chart busting tunes including Grammy-award winning James Brown, the Godfather of Soul's "Living in America", The B-52's Love Shack LP, Buster Poindexter's (a.k.a. David Johansen) "Hot Hot Hot", Joe Cocker's Unchain My Heart LP, Tom Waits' Rain Dogs LP, and Billy Joel's River of Dreams LP, and the upcoming LP by James Montgomery titled From Detroit to the Delta.
Montgomery remembers the night he performed with Muddy Waters at Paul's Mall in Boston, Massachusetts. "I couldn't believe it. Here I was on stage with Muddy Waters," Montgomery remembers with a smile. "It was such a great emotion."
James Montgomery has a soon to be released CD titled "From Detroit to the Delta." Along with James' band, it highlights Special Guest Star Music Legends Super Harp James Cotton, Blues Guitar Legend Johnny Winter, Two Rock Stars from Aerosmith Brad Whitford and Joey Kramer, New York's horn section extraordinaire The Uptown Horns and Rap Star Darryl McDaniels from the group Run DMC.
In the year 2007 James Montgomery recorded the title tune for the film Delta Rising: A Blues Documentary, a captivating film that describes the history of the blues, and more particularly, the birthplace of Blues, in the Delta, Clarksdale, Mississippi. It stars Morgan Freeman, Willie Nelson, James Montgomery, Bill Luckett, Jimbo Mathus, Scott Bomar, Chris Cotton, Ruby Wilson, James "Super Chikan" Johnson, Grace Kelly, Pinetop Perkins, David "Honeyboy" Edwards and others who share their stories about the song, the life, the place, and significance of the Delta Blues sound of American Music.
Throughout the past 45 years James Montgomery's band has been a springboard for many composers’ careers. His band group has included Billy Squier, Wayne Kramer, Jeff Golub, Jim McCarty, Nunzio Signore, Steve Strout Nashville sideman Jeff Pevar (Ray Charles, Crosby, Stills & Nash), Bobby Chouinard (drummer with Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, Billy Squier and Robert Gordon), Jeff Levine (Joe Cocker), Tom Gambel (Aerosmith), David Hull (substitute bassist for Aerosmith on their 2006, 2008 and 2014 travels, David Hull was the bassist for The Joe Perry Project, the band Farrenheit (with Charlie Farren and John "Muzz" Muzzy) and The Buddy Miles Band. In the year 2010 while still a member of Montgomery's band, David Hull released his 1st CD called Soul in Motion (David was the singer, songwriter, guitarist, bassist and producer of his own album). Additionally, many, many, more exceptional composers have been members of Montgomery's band.