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MONTGOMERY GENTRY Duo turns back time with tour



Published: Wed, February 16, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Friday's show at the Civic Center is general admission.

CANTON -- There is little hiding the fact that Montgomery Gentry -- Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry -- is old school.

From its flair for southern rock anthems to its traditional-based sound, this Lexington, Kentucky duo isn't out to redefine county music as much as it is out to have a good time and revel in the moment.

So when it came time to book the "Turn It Up & amp; Bring It On" tour, a co-headlining outing with Trace Adkins and opener Cledus T. Judd, the hell raisers decided to turn back the clocks in the form of getting rid of the floor seats. That's right, Friday's Canton Civic Center show is general admission, which pretty much guarantees the floor will be one rowdy, fun-filled affair.

"What we liked about it was the excitement in front of the stage," said Troy Gentry calling from Madison, Wis. "Eddie and I, we've always played in the clubs and everything, we've always had everybody right up front having a party and a good time, with their hands up in the air and singing all of the songs. And that motivates an artist and the fans. We thought it might be a cool way to go back a little bit."

For the fans

Go back and take a little, too. Gentry said the idea of cutting out the ticket scalpers and brokers -- with their triple-digit prices for double-digit tickets -- was very appealing. Such consideration for the working public should not come as a surprise. Montgomery Gentry has built a career out of catering to the blue-collar country music fan.

Beginning with its 1999 debut "Tattoos & amp; Scars" and leading up to its fourth studio album, 2004's "You Do Your Thing," Montgomery Gentry has been slowly rising to the top of the country music scene. The band's success includes platinum albums hanging on their walls and roughly a handful of hit singles, including "If You Ever Stop Loving Me," "Hillbilly Shoes," "She Couldn't Change Me" and "My Town," making the twosome regulars on country radio.

So what's it going to take for Montgomery Gentry to headline their own tour?

"For us, in all honesty, it's going to take a couple more No. 1 hits and getting a couple more albums underneath our belt," Gentry said. "Kenny Chesney and Toby Keith, these two acts have been touring for over 10 years and they're just now hitting the superstar status and doing the big headlining tour dates. So, Eddie and I, like them, want to grow on a slow pace so when we do reach that level, it's a big bang."

What's next

Fans can expect a few more single releases from "You Do Your Thing" before Montgomery Gentry retreats to the studio -- most likely sometime, later this year -- for its next album. In the meantime, the boys are focused on their current tour, offering its loyal following a diversion from the snow and ice.

"I think over the long haul of winter with everybody being cooped up inside, it's just the thrill of getting out and just being wild," Gentry said. "This is a great tour. Eddie and I believe when people pay their hard earned money to come out and see our show, that they deserve to be entertained and we want them to walk away from the show being wowed and feeling like they got their money's worth. It's going to be a high-energy show, with a lot of fun. You can't go wrong with Trace Adkins, Cledus T. opening us up and especially Montgomery Gentry."




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