Walker Carl Montgomery, son of John Michael Montgomery and nephew of Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry (no relation to Kentucky Basketball forward E.J. Montgomery) is a rising star in country music.
Walker was kind enough to agree to an interview with Kentucky Sports Radio and let people get to know him better as he continues to forge his path in the music world.
Q: Just to let people get to know you a little bit better, where are you from?
A: I’m from a little town called Nicholasville, Kentucky. It’s about 30 minutes south of Lexington in Jessamine County. But I’m currently living in Nashville, Tennessee.
Q: How old are you?
A: I’m 21 years— I mean, well, I’m 20 years old. It sucks, but…
Q: What’s your favorite thing about Kentucky?
A: It’s home. I was born and raised there and that’s who I am: I’m a straight up Kentuckian. So, just being able to go out and see the beauty of the countryside and the good times of downtown Lexington. I mean it just makes it home, really.
Q: What’s your favorite place to perform?
A: Manchester Music Hall in Lexington, without a doubt.
Q: Favorite UK or Kentucky sports moment in general?
A: My favorite Kentucky sports moment… aw hell, it’s gotta be the overtime [football] game in 2007 for LSU… LSU vs Kentucky when LSU was No. 1. That’s definitely my favorite moment.
Q: When did you first get into music and performing?
A: Well I was doing high school choir and stuff at Sayre [High School]. But you know I didn’t really start performing out until I was a sophomore in high school I guess. We were performing in the restaurants and honky tonks around Lexington and stuff. So, I started doing my thing probably sophomore year of high school.
Q: When did you know music is what you wanted to do for a career?
A: Well, I mean, the first time I got on stage I fell in love with it. I really did. And, you know, when “Simple Town” was written, that was when I was starting to get what I was wanting to do and, you know, really start to pursue it and start to make it down to Nashville.
Q: Is there a favorite performance of yours that really sticks out in your mind?
A: Man, every single one of ’em. Any time I get to play “Simple Town” or another song of mine and I see people singing back, singing my songs, that becomes the new highlight.
Q: Who’s your favorite singer?
A: My favorite singer of all time is Randy Travis.
Q: What’s your favorite music genre outside of country?
A: OK, this might come as a shock. Not a lot of people know this, but I strictly listen to these two genres: country and, like, 1930’s big band swing music… I love the Frank Sinatra’s and stuff, all that stuff. Those were the good ol’ days, man. That was the greatest generation.
Q: What’s your favorite song of your dad’s and your favorite song of your uncle’s?
A: Of my dad… well, hell, man that’s a hard question right there. My dad’s song is probably a song called “Even Then”. And then Eddie’s got a song called “Scarecrows”.
Q: What does it mean to you to be related to two country music stars?
A: Well, I mean, you know, it’s just who I am and obviously they’ve influenced who I am in country. But I think my songs will, uh… “separate” isn’t the right word, but kind of show that, you know, I’m not just John Michael’s son or Eddie Montgomery’s nephew, but that I’m a separate Walker Montgomery. I think my songs will show that. But they are great influences and I love them very much.
Q: What or who has been your biggest influence?
A: My biggest influence has definitely been my grandfather; I call him “Papa.” Just being a mentor and a friend and the greatest granddad that anybody could ever have, he’s definitely been my biggest influence. And in life, not just the musical realm, but, you know, going to Church and in music and everything, just in life in general.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge for you so far in the music industry?
A: Well, I mean, the biggest challenge [is] just trying to be creative all the time and trying to get the songs that I think people want to here and want to relate to down on paper, and putting the pen to paper. But, you know, a guy named Tracy Lawrence once told me, “if you’re not having fun in this profession, you’re in the wrong damn profession.” So, you know, if something hard pops up, my mentality is still that, you know? I still gotta have fun, and I get to go out and play music for a living. So that’s about the best a man can ask for.
Q: Do you have any advice for people who are trying to get into music?
A: Play whenever you can, write whenever you can. It doesn’t matter if there’s five-thousand people in the crowd or five people in the crowd. Give the same show you would to a five-person crowd as you would to a five-thousand-person crowd and let them know that you appreciate them coming out and supporting your music.
Q: When it’s all said and done, what do you want your legacy to be?
A: Well, you know, I mean, just… real life country music. I want my songs to be able to pull at people’s heartstrings whether it’s a happy song or a sad song or just, you know, a mid-tempo song. I think that if you can pull on someone’s heartstrings, you’ve got ’em hooked for a song. And I just want relatable songs to be out there for people to hear.
Go to www.walkermontgomery.com for more on Walker’s music and background as well as ticket and touring information. You can also sign up for free news updates by email.