Nathan Montgomery
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Nathan Montgomery


Band Jazz Acoustic


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"Guitarmageddon 2005"

By Elizabeth A. Katz
Daily Tribune Staff Writer

PUBLISHED: May 6, 2005

ROYAL OAK — With the promise of national attention and coveted studio recording time — and the keys to a 2005 Scion xB Minitruck — local guitarist Nathan Montgomery is on his way to the Windy City today to compete against other top guitar talent.
Montgomery, 30, has made his way through three rounds of a local competition sponsored by Guitar Center, which has stores in Southfield and Roseville. He'll compete tonight at a Guitar Center store just north of Chicago as part of the regional level of a competition known as "Guitarmageddon."

The regional competition, held at various Guitar Center stores in America, is inviting 16 talented guitarists to compete at that level. The next level takes winning guitarists to Los Angeles June 18, where four will compete against each other in a national competition.

"Hearing that I'm one of 16 (top guitar players) is great — and it's scary at the same time," Montgomery said. "It's been really inspirational for the students that I teach at the Arts Academy in the Woods in Warren."

Montgomery, of Royal Oak, has been playing the guitar for 20 years. He was first encouraged by his father to pick up the instrument, and attended Wayne State University on a full scholarship for a degree in jazz performance. He plays both an electric Fender Stratocaster guitar and a Taylor acoustic guitar and teaches private at Gus Zoppi Music Center in Sterling Heights.

Guitar Center officials liken the fifth annual competition to "American Idol" for guitar players, with "Guitarmageddon" striving to bring undiscovered musicians to the industry forefront and giving them the chance to receive recognition for their talents.

"Our events draw large crowds that not only give guitarists a platform to be heard, but the chance to jump-start their careers and ultimately fulfill their music aspirations," said Jack Sonni, vice president of marketing communications at Guitar Center.

The competition's grand prize is the Scion xB Minitruck stocked with a Gibson custom shop guitar, a $2,500 Guitar Center store shopping spree, and studio recording time.

A three-year member of Latin jazz ensemble Saoco, Montgomery recently released a solo CD called "For Your Ears Only." Going through the guitar competition at the local level, he said he has realized the wealth of guitar talent that exists in Michigan.

"There's quite a few good guitar musicians in Michigan, ranging from the late teens to their 20s and 30s," he said.

Being faced with that competition inspires Montgomery to refine his talents even more, he said.

"Playing guitar is an escape and it's a way to communicate things that I'd never be able to put into words," he said. "There's times when you think you're good, and you run into someone that is better than you, and it pushes you to practice more."

Contact Elizabeth A. Katz at or 248-591-2515.
- The Daily Tribune, Royal Oak

"Nathan Montgomery - 2-5 Jive"

Hailing from Michigan, USA , Nathan Montgomery gained a lot of praise from his fans and the press for his first album “ For Your Ears Only”. Nathan is a very percussive, finger-style guitarist who is able to weave his music together with as well a melody line, a bass, percussion and solo part. The music he plays reflects many styles including jazz, funk, blues, rock and finger-style. All music he plays is done without overdubs or effect pedals. The structure of the music can start with a nice grooving bass line, but which gets more and more complex adding so much parts of music on
just one acoustic guitar. Amazing and also with so much versatile
brilliant musical ideas one really needs to dig into his music to fully understand what he is all doing on just one guitar. He uses a lot of techniques like slapping, tapping, plucking and strumming on his guitar. In fact he is a one man. He just released his second CD “2-5 Jive” which is a logical step forward to the first album. Brilliant funky and groovy pieces like “2-5 Jive”, ‘Blues for Tuck” and “1976 “ truly lifts ones feet. More intimate ballads like “This Side of Tuesday” which is a gorgeous piece of art in the style of the late Michael Hedges completely absorbs one, just as “Unanswered Questions” and “Just a Memory”. The last track of the album “Circles” starts with a meditative feeling but gets on with a top-notch musical interlude with fantastic percussion and ends with the touching basic melody part. Nathan Montgomery is not only an impressive guitarist but also a magnificent composer. Truly a wizard on a guitar.
Henk te Veldhuis
Bridge Guitar Reviews
Copyright © 2006
- Henk te Veldhuis, Bridge Guitar Reviews

"Matt Helms"

While the whole story is not about Nathan there is a quick mention of him at the bottom that we felt was worth posting.

"I started the day in Ferndale and while walking past the Coffee Beanery on Woodward just north of 9 Mile I heard music that drew me in. I ended up buying the CD "For Your Ears Only" by Nathan Montgomery, who calls his music percussive guitar -- which means he plays the heck out of his acoustic guitar, proving beat and melody and throwing in styles from jazz and rock to blues and classical."

"The CD became my theme music for the cruise and I'm still listening to it. Check him out at"

"What's in your CD player?"

The Detroit Free Press

Read the entire article below!

MATT HELMS: Get some working taillights, and don't block view of road

August 30, 2005

It's good to express your anger once in a while. Don't psychologists say it's bad to bottle it up?

In that spirit, here is what's working my last nerve, irking me berserk and generally irritating me to no end:

•If I were king, one of the first things I'd outlaw is big vehicles parking curbside where they block the view of people trying to enter major roads from parking lots and side streets. I can't tell you how many times I have to inch up too uncomfortably far past a stop sign and crane my neck to see whether traffic is heading my way before I turn. Drives me up a wall!

•I'm growing weary of people oblivious to the danger of malfunctioning taillights. I was on 8 Mile near I-75 recently and had to come to an abrupt stop when a woman in an SUV in front of me came to a stop with no warning because her brake lights weren't working. I swear, just a moment later there was another car without a single working taillight. One light out, understandable. Two? C'mon. But even the third light in the rear window?

•There's a special place in traffic hell for those idiots on the expressways who zoom up to you when you're in the left (fast) lane and then, when you get out of the way, decide they don't want to be fastest on the road. They stay put, not wanting to be the one pulled over.

What, do they really expect others to be the guinea pig? Next time I'll slow down to 10 below the limit just to stick it to 'em.

•Ever notice that Michigan lefts have to be the worst spot for people running stop signs? I'm so often stunned by how brazen people can be, barely tapping the brakes as they fly through the turnaround and ignore the stop signs so they don't get stuck waiting for oncoming traffic. And of course there's never a cop around.

•Hey, I'm no saint when it comes to driving, but I do know that appearances count for something. A recent trip on I-696 made me wonder about impressions. As in, what would you think of an instructor behind the wheel of a vehicle clearly marked with the logo of a certain driving school who's doing 75 m.p.h. on the 65-max stretch of I-696 in Macomb County?

Myself, I say the impression is that this driver's ed teacher is clearly operating in the real world. (And to be fair, he was the vehicle's sole occupant.)

•Sometimes I'm way too slow on the uptake. With a new car come new seat adjustments. I've been driving around for months without getting familiar with a certain lever on the left side of the driver's seat. Turns out it raises and lowers the seat, as I discovered recently.

I ended up adjusting the seat higher, and all of a sudden the car is so much more comfortable. I feel more in command, and better able to see out the front and side windows. The steering wheel is easier to handle, and the brakes are easier to push. What took me so long?

•And finally, to end this vent on a not-so-bitter note, one other good thing came about at the Woodward Dream Cruise besides a mostly relaxing and fun day of people and car watching.

I started the day in Ferndale and while walking past the Coffee Beanery on Woodward just north of 9 Mile I heard music that drew me in. I ended up buying the CD "For Your Ears Only" by Nathan Montgomery, who calls his music percussive guitar -- which means he plays the heck out of his acoustic guitar, proving beat and melody and throwing in styles from jazz and rock to blues and classical.

The CD became my theme music for the cruise and I'm still listening to it. Check him out at

What's in your CD player?

Got a rant or a rave? MATT HELMS loves to hear 'em. Send yours to -- e-mail is best -- or leave a message at 313-222-1450. Be sure to include your full name, the city where you live and day and evening phone numbers so you don't land on Matt's peeve list.

Copyright © 2005 Detroit Free Press Inc.
- Detroit Free Press

"Nathan Montgomery - For Your Ears Only"

Nathan Montgomery - For Your Ears Only
Speed - Brilliant solo acoustic guitar recordings. Downtempo Kottke style to fast paced McLaughlin. Extraordinary & beautiful.
Spridle - Jazz-grass. More listenable than Coryell. Fancy, but you can follow it. Captivating.
Sprocket - Very clever, technical live acoustic guitar… for those that dig such things.
Chim Chim - Michael Hedges is from Mars. Montgomery is from Venus. Never plays the wrong note.
- Hybrid Magazine

"Nathan Montgomery For Your Ears Only 2005"

With a passion for acoustic guitar Nathan Montgomery plays many styles like blues, jazz , funk, rock, finger-style, Zen to classical music. In a range of various techniques, like tapping, slapping, hammer on and pulling off, he has the ability to fully absorb a listener in various moods. Nathan goes far beyond any safe territory which many other guitarists do not dare to explore. In 2002 he graduated with a Bachelor degree in Jazz performance. Influences from the late Michael Hedges, Jon Gomm, Kaki King and John Danley can be heard, but nevertheless Nathan Montgomery has his own rousing signature. On his album For Your Ears Only he impresses in any area with compositions which groove a lot, fantastic harmonics and brilliant percussion which touches one lower chakra's and sometimes have a hypnotic effect as on Beneath The Surface. Three Shades of Black how his melody line building abilities and his knowledge of percussion. One on his impressive enchanting ballads Flowers Fallen shows he is a top composer with strong melody lines like for instance Don Ross and Preston Reed excel in. The virtuosity of playing energizing songs with a lot of groove gets one fully absorbed as on Maybe Next Time, Gravel Train and Groove Thing. Pictures of You has a soothing, melancholic atmosphere which really moves one. The versatility, the composing skills and the way to entertain surely puts him between the best guitarists on this globe.

Henk te Veldhuis
Bridge Guitar Reviews.
(headphones advised)

- Bridge Guitar Reviews - Intuition

"A Light in the Woods"

Nathan Montgomery
By Joseph Shields
Jul 20, 2005, 14:27

A Light in the Woods

In August 2001 a charter public school was started that would act as a place where high school aged students with a special interest in the arts could further their studies. This spring the Arts Academy in the Woods, a publicly funded Macomb intermediate school, held commencement for its first graduating class. Academy instructor of guitar studies Nathan Montgomery recognizes a great commitment in his students and has committed himself in kind to establishing a strong, challenging program at the school. One that he was never afforded as a young man studying guitar: “It’s really given me an opportunity to give something I wanted really badly,” he says.

A private guitar instructor and a performer in area jazz groups, Montgomery has also developed a solo acoustic project that crosses genres and incorporates innovative approaches to the instrument that open up exciting sonic possibilities. He graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in jazz performance, which he cites as the foundation for the open canvases that become his compositions. Montgomery’s first solo record, For Your Ears Only, is available now.

The Academy has also influenced Montgomery’s playing. Through his students he is constantly experiencing new perspectives on familiar ideas. He sees his classes as an opportunity to teach students something that permeates their lives outside of his classroom. “It’s more than the music,” he says. “It gives them something to believe in. They believe in themselves a little bit more through the instrument.” | RDW

For upcoming show dates and more information visit: and
- Real Detroit Weekly


"2-5 Jive" 2006
All songs written and performed by Nathan Montgomery as live complete takes. No Loops- No Overdubs- No Sampling.

For booking contact:
NWM Productions
Jennifer Mattia

Recorded at Audio Cafe
Produced by:Nathan Montgomery and Tom Rice
Engineered and Mastered by:Tom Rice
Mixed by:Tom Rice & Nathan Montgomery
Artwork and Photography by:Jennifer Mattia

1. 2-5 Jive
2. Blues For Tuck
3. This Side of Tuesday
4. Unanswered Questions
5. Midwestern Winds
6. Buckle Down
7. 1976
8. Just a Memory
9. Circles

"For Your Ears Only" 2005
For Your Ears Only consists of 12 original compositions written by Nathan Montgomery. The music is solo acoustic guitar that crosses many genres from blues & jazz to funk & fingerstyle. All tracks were performed and recorded by Nathan on a Taylor acoustic guitar at his personal recording studio in Royal Oak, MI. All tracks were recorded as live takes: without the use of overdubbing, loops, other instrumentation, or section editing.

1. Happy With You
2. Beneath the Surface
3. Three Shades of Black
4. Flowers Fallen
5. Maybe Next Time
6. Purple
7. What Attitude...
8. Cascade
9. Forget It
10. Solitude
11. Groove Thing
12. Gravel Train



This one-man band plays with a fierce intensity, bending and pulling, banging and tapping, plucking and strumming the guitar, stretching both the instrument and him. Nathan Montgomery is a passionate and aggressive acoustic guitar player with such a crazy style of playing that makes every performance musically and visually brilliant! Influenced by an array of musicians, he has fused many styles including blues, funk, jazz, rock, and fingerstyle to create an original sound. The mood ranges from a hungry rage to a sensuous romance, tapping into every emotion in between. The music is polyphonic; including melody, harmonic progressions, bass lines, as well as percussion all performed simultaneously without the use of loops or overdubs.