We don’t doubt that last September, when news broke of the untimely passing of Montgomery Gentry’s Troy Gentry, a community of country music fans hit their knees in prayer, not just for Troy’s beautiful wife and daughters, but also for his singing partner, Eddie Montgomery.
With a new album that was finished just before that fateful day in September, there were a lot of questions about Eddie’s future, and now, after taking a break to mourn his friend and to make some hard decisions, he has some answers.
“Life is very short, and I’m going to live every second of it,” Eddie tells Rare Country. After losing his brother in music at the young age of 50, he has lived and learned that lesson.
“I’ve always said ‘At the end of my life, I don’t want to be that guy going, “Man, I wish I would have tried that. I wish I would have done that.”‘ I’m going to probably be that guy that’s going, ‘Well, maybe I shouldn’t have done that one. Maybe I shouldn’t have tried that either,'” he adds with a smile.
Eddie recently appeared on “Fox & Friends,” where he debuted the track “King of the World” from the duo’s newest album, “Here’s to You.” And the news that the newest release is No. 1 on the iTunes chart is bittersweet for the surviving singer.
“T-Roy, we were together for over 30 years and, so I was used to looking to my left,” he said. “That horrific crash that day, our whole lives have changed, me and the guys in the band.”
Whether Eddie and Troy had a hard conversation because they weren’t just friends, but business partners as well, or whether it was provoked by Eddie’s 2010 prostate cancer diagnosis is unknown, but the pair had definitely discussed a plan if something were to happen to one or the other member, as Rare Country previously reported. Eddie recalls, “I remember me and him having a conversation a few years back and we were talking about it and it was like, if either of us goes down, we want the other to carry on the Montgomery Gentry tradition.”
Eddie, who first met Troy when he and brother John Michael Montgomery formed a band in 1990, is unable to share details regarding the crash that day due to an ongoing investigation, but he does confirm that he was on the premises when the accident occurred.
“It’s been tough for me and the guys a little bit,” he says. “We did our first Grand Ole Opry appearance the other night [Feb. 2]. It’s been very emotional. We’ve actually done a couple of shows we’ve put under our belt. I was nervous. It was very emotional.”
Eddie will continue to tour as Montgomery Gentry this year, supporting both the release of “Here’s to You” and, as he said, keeping the Montgomery Gentry tradition alive. This week, he announced that fellow Kentucky boys, Halfway to Hazard, will be joining him on several dates this year.
Perhaps the most poignant takeaway from Rare Country’s interview with Eddie was these two words of advice that he spoke near the end: “Live life.”