Personnel: John Michael Montgomery (vocals); Paul Franklin (steel guitar); Billy Joe Walker, Jr. (guitar); Brent Mason, Dann Huff (electric guitar); Rob Hajacos (fiddle); Dennis Salee (tenor saxophone); George Tidwell (trumpet); Barry Green (trombone); John Jarvis (piano); Bill Cuomo (synthesizer); Glenn Worf (bass); Lonnie Wilson (drums); John Wesley Ryles, Dennis Wilson, Harry Stinson (background vocals); Terry McMillan.
Recorded at Sound Emporium, Nashville, Tennessee.
JOHN MICHAEL MONTGOMERY was nominated for a 1996 Grammy Award for Best Country Album. "I Can Love You Like That" was nominated for 1996 Grammy Awards for Best Male Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song.
John Michael has come a long way from the days when he was considered just another country hat act. He recorded one of the biggest-selling albums of 1994, KICKIN' IT UP, and had the biggest country single of the year, "I Swear," which earned him a Grammy nomination for his vocals. JOHN MICHAEL MONTGOMERY takes the young Kentuckian's career a step further, showcasing his ability not only to find good material, but to perform it successfully.
The album is brimming with the kind of upbeat honky-tonk mouthfuls he has always been able to command. The full-speed, one-breath auction song "Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)" may be the ultimate spit-it-out honky-tonker. The cowboy-themed "Just Like A Rodeo," on the other hand, is a true departure, a horn-backed big-band shuffle on which John Michael expands his musical boundaries.
Mostly, it is is love he is pursuing. His commercial strength has always been in the power ballad, and he doesn't let fans down here. Whether it's the fulfillment of dreams on "I Can Love You Like That" (a song that will give "I Swear" a run for its money), or the romantic fidelity of "Long As I Live," John Michael belts it out like he's lived it. Make room at the top of the charts for this one; it's a winner.
Personnel: John Michael Montgomery (vocals); Billy Joe Walker, Jr. (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Dann Huff, Brent Mason (electric guitar); Paul Franklin (steel guitar); Rob Hajacos (fiddle); Terry McMillan (harmonica, cymbals, tambourine); George Tidwell (trumpet); Barry Green (trombone); John Jarvis (piano); Bill Cuomo (synthesizer); Lonnie Wilson (drums); Harry Stinson, John Wesley Ryles, Dennis Wilson (background vocals).
John Michael Montgomery knows how to balance authentic country twang and commercial country accessibility just so, and his self-titled third album is a case in point. Whether paying tribute to his musical heroes on "Cowboy Love," giving credit to the mothers of the world on "No Man's Land," or putting his all into the heart-wrenching ballad "Love You Like That," Montgomery knows how to push all the right buttons for contemporary country music fans.
Matters are helped considerably by Montgomery's fine voice and guitar playing, and the clean, radio-ready production. Like its predecessor KICKIN' IT UP, JOHN MICHAEL MONTGOMERY tore up the charts with its combination of ballads, rockers, and honk-tonk heel-kickers--the smash hit "Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)" is an indisputable highlight)--proving that Montgomery's sturdy formula is as popular as ever.
Q (7/95, p.135) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...If you like the Eagles and Jackson Browne, you'll almost certainly like John Michael Montgomery and his third album..."