Outlaw Duo Montgomery Gentry Mine Gold

Tattoos and Scars sells half a million; duo to tour with Brooks & Dunn

Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry threw back shots of whiskey with their band during a Nashville party Tuesday, April 18 to celebrate the duo’s first gold album, for sales of 500,000 copies. Then the well-publicized hell-raisers showed a little bit of a tender side.

After presenting industry types with plaques usual to such an event, the guys called their wives, parents, in-laws and even Montgomery’s next-door neighbors onstage to share in the glory and receive plaques of their own.

“We wanted to thank the folks who’ve supported us and who take care of things when we’re gone on the road,” Montgomery said.

Montgomery’s brother, fellow country singer John Michael Montgomery, slipped in after the ceremony but stayed for the party to wish his big brother well.

These days the duo doesn’t get to spend much time at home in Lexington, Ky., where they honed their musical skills. In the year since releasing their debut album, Tattoos and Scars, Montgomery Gentry has hit with “Hillbilly Shoes” (No. 13) and “Lonely and Gone” (No. 5) and has been hailed as a needed shot in the arm for today’s country music format.

“It feels really good, but it’s almost like it’s coming too soon,” Gentry told country.com before the party. “I guess it’s been a little over a year now that we’ve been traveling, and we’re thrilled that radio and the fans embraced us and went out and bought the album. But there’s a lot more work to be done and a lot more places to play.”

The duo hopes to build its fan base by hitting the road with country’s big daddy of duos, Brooks & Dunn. Montgomery Gentry will open select dates in April and June.

“They’re definitely a class act, and they’ve been treating us great,” Montgomery said. “They’re on their way to legendary status. We’ve got a lot to learn from them. Plus, they’re great writers, so we definitely want to try to steal anything we can.”

So far, Montgomery Gentry seems to be on the Brooks & Dunn track. The duo has won an American Music Award and the guys are competing for Top New Vocal Duo or Group at the Academy of Country Music Awards on May 3.

“That’s one way of gauging how your music is being appreciated,” Gentry said of the nomination. “That’s one of the great things about being nominated is you know you’re being heard.”

Montgomery Gentry say they already have two things planned for the upcoming ACM trip to Los Angeles, and it’s not exactly what you’d expect from two self-proclaimed country outlaws.

“We’ll try to find a good sushi bar, but we do that wherever we go because we love it,” Gentry said.

Montgomery added, “And a real good honky tonk, which isn’t easy to do in L.A.”