Today, Kory Montgomery turns 22 years old, but his resume reads more like someone entering the Rock and Roll hall of fame.
Kory began playing in Fayetteville at 13 years old, and since he’s shared the stage with legendary acts like BB King, Earth Wind and Fire, Buddy Guy, and Lee Ritenour, made the finals of the 2005 International Blues Challenge, lived in Los Angeles where he studied under some of the best guitar players in the world including Jake Eckert (Dirty Dozen Brass Bands Guitarist), Stuart Ziff (War’s guitar player), and Ross Bolton (Al Jarreau).
He’s toured a lot of the country with the Kory Montgomery Band, and he was invited to play “Grammy Camp” by Steve Vai where he had the opportunity to mentor with guitar-slingers Lee Ritenour, Steve Vai, Rickey Minor, and Phillip Bailey.
Did we mention Kory is only 22 years old?
We caught up with Kory, who was nice enough to answer some questions for us.
Fayetteville Flyer What have you been listening to lately?
Kory Montgomery: I can’t get enough of Jimmie Herring, Derrick Trucks,The Black Crowes, and Sly and The Family Stone right now. I like to listen to a wide selection of music but those are the artists I have listened to a lot lately.
FF: I read that you’ve been playing in bands around Fayetteville since you were 13 years old. What are some of the bands you’ve been in?
KM: My first time to play in public was at a Georges blues jam when I was 13. I got up there and played the two songs I knew and ran off. The musicians that hosted the jam Wes Bolin, Mike Murray, and Jeff Carey were supportive to get me on stage, so it became a occasion spot on stage. Along with other musicians around the area I got to play quite a bit as a young musician. The first gig I had to really pull a band together was opening for BB King in Indianola, MS when I was 16. I got Wes Bolin, Mike Murray, Robb Edgerton, and Larry Hight as the band. From then on I was playing gigs regularly as The Kory Montgomery Band.
FF: You’ve shared the stage with some legendary musicians over the years. What are some of the more memorable moments?
KM: I have been lucky to meet some of the musicians I have. I got to play guitar and sing with Earth Wind and Fire at the 2007 Grammy Camp. They let me sing the first verse to Shining Star. I was terrified, but did good. I have got to open for BB King 3 times. I haven’t had the opportunity to share the stage with BB but hanging with the King will be a memory I never forget.
FF: You studied a while in LA under some pretty impressive musicians as well. Who were some of them?
KM: I moved to Hollywood when I was 18 to go to Musicians Institute. I learned the In’s and outs of being a professional musicians from some of the best musicians in LA. My favorite teachers were Scott Henderson, Jake Eckert (Dirty Dozen Brass Band), Ross Bolton ( Al Jarraeu), and Stuart Ziff( War). Every you went in that building were incredible musicians young and old. Living in LA really humbled me towards music. There are lots of great musicians out there that can just tear there instrument apart. I can’t wait to play with some of my old teachers down the road to see if I’ve gotten better.
FF: There’s a ton of good music going on in Fayetteville right now. What are some bands playing around town that we need to check out?
KM: I’ve played a lot of places across the country, and Fayetteville’s music scene is my favorite spot. There are some great bands. My favorites are The Poggs, The 1ounce jig, The Declaration, Charliehorse, FFE, Family Dogs. There is about everything you need in a music scene here in Fayettevile.
FF: What’s your favorite place to play outside of Fayetteville?
KM: We just back from a little run from St. Louis to Gulfport, MS and had a blast. They have a real good attitude about music in that part of the south. We are headed that way again in July and we are all excited.
FF: You’re playing at George’s on April 1st. Is your birthday on April fools day?
KM: I am really excited for the April 1st show at Georges. My birthday is actually March 31st, but I am holding off this year untill April Fools Day. The University of Arkansas Big Band is opening the night off at 8:30, then The Poggs are going to play, the my band. My band members are Garrett Jones (bass), Tyler Wright ( Drums), Drew Packard (guitar), with possible guest appearences by Matt Smith, Issayah Warford, Nathan Mcleod, and Nate Hancock. It’s going to be a great night of music.
FF: What’s next for you guys. Any recording in the works?
KM: We are going to start promoting this album we just wrapped up within the next few months, then hope to release another CD by winter time. We just have to keep playing regionally as much as possible, and continue to gain fan support on the way.
Click below to hear “Papa’s never satisfied” by Kory Montgomery Band