The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Gwendolyne Honrud
The Courier 

John Michael Montgomery to Headline Northeast Montana Fair


August 1, 2018

Courtesy Photo / For the Courier

Northeast Montana Fair Headliner John Michael Montgomery poses with his guitar in this courtesy photo.

"So, first question, just how tired are you of doing these pre-concert interviews?" may not be the best way to open up an interview with a musician gracing the Middle of Nowhere with a concert for the upcoming Northeast Montana Fair. But with John Michael Montgomery, it offered up the chance for the country music star to express his appreciation for the chance to perform.

While admitting that he didn't always enjoy such talks, he now enthuses about touring and performing, "I enjoy it a lot more now. I appreciate the people who want photos and autographs." Smaller venues and appearances give Montgomery the chance to interact more now with his fans than his early time in the spotlight, when he'd have to sit at a table for hours, feeling like a machine, signing autographs.

He espouses a passion for the Treasure State. "I love Montana. I've always been drawn to it. I have friends who live here and it's good to know there are fans of my music up there." He relates a story he tells people all the time, of his first time through Montana and sitting up all night long on the tour bus to take it all in. Of course, like many who haven't experienced the beauty of the Big Sky prairie sky, he was a bit surprised that he didn't get to see the Rockies immediately upon entering the state from South Dakota. But that one momentary disappointment didn't prevent him from appreciating the unique beauty of this side of the state. "It's not every day you get a chance to go in the northeastern corner of the state. Most people don't get to see that."

This isn't the performer's first road trip through our portion of the state. On a trip years and years ago, up to a concert in Canada, his route gave him a taste of Montana's summer road construction. "Apparently, up there in Montana, they just tear the whole road up before replacing it. So here is my fancy tour bus going over this dirt or gravel road. We had to stop to get a wash job in Canada." Perhaps this helps explain his take of our state, "Montana has its own way of life, its own way of doing things."

But even the pain of Montana road construction delays doesn't dim his love of touring. After 25 years of music and touring, he still loves the hours and hours on the bus, stopping and taking and breathing the fresh air.

Montgomery says he has no real plans for another album, but assures fans the thought is on his mind. "I haven't committed, but it would probably be my list. My 'riding into the sunset' album." For now, he is happy to be touring and performing, saying that he wants to make sure the time is right and that he could devote full attention to an album. But he does give a tentative deadline, "I'm 53 now. I would like to do an album in the next two years."

To anyone who is waffling on attending Friday night's concert, Montgomery ruefully chuckles, "Remember how long the winters are. Go listen to some good music from the 1900s."

And for his fans anticipating his live show, he's excited to see the crowd. He'll be performing all his big hits and giving the crowd a chance to show off and sing along. "I'm hoping for beautiful weather and temperatures that aren't too hot. And I hope there is some blacktop on the roads."


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