When the two Kentucky boys—Eddie, is from Lancaster and Troy is from Lexington—first burst onto the national scene in 1999 with the defiant “Hillbilly Shoes” notice was served—country music had never seen a hard driving duo like this.
Despite the millions of albums sold, the sold out shows and the scores of awards, Montgomery Gentry remains in touch with its working class roots. “We are blue collar workers and we lived the songs that we sing,” says Troy. “Because of that, our fans are able to make the connection and when they hear our songs, they know we are singing with passion and we know what we are talking about.”
“People are going to be able to touch on each one of our songs and say. ‘Yeah man, that song is a little bit about me,’ or ‘I know a person that lives next door to me that’s been through what you just got done singing about,’” Troy continues. “People can associate themselves with ours songs.”
“With us is what you see is what you get,” Eddie says of the duo’s down-to-earth demeanor. “We don’t act like we don’t drink or cuss. We have faults like everybody else and that’s who we are.”
Who they are is a duo with fourteen Top 10 singles, including five No. 1s, “Something To Be Proud Of,” “If You Ever Stop Loving Me,” Lucky Man,” “Back When I Knew It All” and “Roll With Me.”
But awards and accolades aside, it’s Eddie and Troy’s induction into the venerable Grand Ole Opry in 2009 that means the most to them.
“Unlike other awards, becoming members of the Grand Ole Opry is something people can’t take away from you,” Troy says. “Other awards come and go, but once you become a member of the Opry, you are a member for life—that’s something that Eddie and I are very proud to be a part of.”
There’s no doubt that they’re hard-running honky tonkers, but Eddie and Troy are also empathetic citizens of the world. Acknowledged by the Academy of Country Music as the 2010 winners of its Humanitarian Award, they devote their time and energy into making the needs of others a priority. They are active participants in many charitable organizations, including the U.S. military and numerous charitable organizations such as the TJ Martell Foundation, Camp Horsin' Around and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Middle Tennessee, among numerous others.
Make no mistake about it: Montgomery Gentry has secured a place in musical history with a unique blend of country, southern rock and Everly Brothers-like harmonies combined with relatable lyrics.
“We grew up on Charlie Daniels, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Merle Haggard,” Eddie says with conviction. “That’s who we are. We cut our teeth in the honky tonks and no matter what you try to do, we have to be us or it just doesn’t sound right.”