Count John Michael Montgomery among the country stars taking his business into his own hands.
Three years after his last album, “Letters From Home,” some of which was spent recovering from hip replacement surgery, Montgomery has started his own label, String Town Records, and plans to start working on a new album in earnest this fall.
“I was looking around (the music business), and I just wasn’t happy with what I was seeing,” explains Montgomery, 42, whose hits include “I Swear,” “The Little Girl” and “I Love the Way You Love Me.” “My fans want to hear my music. I don’t need to sit around waiting on a major label to tell me when I can make it.
“So I said: ‘You know what? These independents are starting to do really well.’ It was this little businessman’s insight that told me I might be better off on my own.”
But Montgomery — whose older brother, Eddie Montgomery, is half of the duo Montgomery Gentry — cautions fans against holding their breath for the new project. He’s in the process of listening to and writing songs, which tends to take a long time.
“The bottom line is that, yeah, three years have gone by,” he acknowledges, “and a lot of people out there might think John Michael’s quit or retired ’cause they haven’t heard new music from me. On the other side, when I do come with an album and hopefully with a great marketing plan that lets people know about it, there’s gonna be really high anticipation for it.
“You just cross your fingers and go with what you know best. I try to stick to the system that works for me, and that’s find songs that, when I listen to them 25 years from now, I’m gonna feel good about singing them. Hopefully, fans will feel the same way.”
John Michael Montgomery and Rusty Vansickle perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday (August 10th) at DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road north of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $34.50 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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