Album Review by Joseph Timmons: IndiePulse Music Magazine Journalist
Release Date OCTOBER 30, 2020
Genre BLUES ROCK, ROCK, BRITISH HARD ROCK
Produced By MARLON MONTGOMERY, TERRY WILSON, TONY BRAUNAGEL
In Review: CRAWLING SPIDER – A Tribute To Mike Montgomery Vol.1 The LA Sessions is a look into the life of an unsung hero of music history in his own works and verse. the music, performed by those that know and loved him best, he family he cherished and for the legacy he left behind.
this album is a living documentary and a flawless collection of creativity, imbued with life by living legends of music and true performing geniuses. what may have been started as a tribute album has, in this recording, became so much more.
Marlon Montgomery, son of Back Street Crawler songwriter and keyboardist Mike Montgomery is set to a release tribute album for his father titled ‘Crawling Spider – A Tribute To Mike Montgomery Vol.1
The LA Sessions’
The compilations includes special appearances by multiple players with notoriety and connections to Montgomery which include John ‘Rabbit’ Bundrick, Terry Slesser, Terry Wilson, and Tony Braunagel who were members of Back Street Crawler along side a plethora of other stand-out musicians.
A sweet pairing of old notes with a new tune, the album’s 15 tracks include reinterpretations of rockers from Back Street Crawler and Mike Montgomery’s bluesy R&B outfit Rough House. Additionally, Executive Producer Marlon Montgomery hand-picked favorites of his father’s catalog some of which were recorded but never released.
Texas legends Omar & The Howlers contributed a previously recorded cover, while Bill Leverty (Firehouse) & Jimmy Kunes (Humble Pie, Cactus, Savoy Brown) cover Back Street Crawler’s first single ‘All The Girls Are Crazy’.
30 years after his death from lung cancer and 40 years after Back Street Crawler’s ‘The Band Played On’, Mike Montgomery’s songs continue to capture the ears of loyal fans and new listeners.
According to badcatrecords.com ‘1975’s cleverly-titled ‘Back Street Crawler’ may have been intended to showcase Kossoff, but the surprise star was keyboardist Montgomery who wrote, or co-wrote eight of the ten tunes and handled lead vocals on both ‘All the Girls Are Crazy’ and ‘Survivor’.
Mike Montgomery’s music lives on, and it is a fitting honor that his legacy is saluted and carried forward into the 21st century. Montgomery states “This project (5 years in the making) has been a dream for many years, and is a labor of love for myself and all those involved.”
Mike Montgomery Biography
Mike Montgomery was born in Guthrie, Oklahoma. He grew up in Oklahoma, Kansas, and California though he spent the greatest part of his childhood on the farm homesteaded by his great-grandfather in the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889. His earliest musical memories were of listening to Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Ray Charles on the radio and responding deeply to their music.
He also had his young soul stirred by the gospel quartets at Kansas tent revivals. By the age of eight, he knew that he wanted to make music like the blues, country and rock and roll that affected him so strongly.
When he was nine he succeeded in talking his grandparents into getting him his first guitar. When he wasn’t plunking on that he was trying to pick out Jerry Lee Lewis or Floyd Cramer licks on the old upright piano in the Montgomery living room. At 15 he’d formed his first band and did his first recording at songwriter Glen Sullivan’s Oklahoma City Studio. A year later he was appearing on local TV shows as well as playing honky-tonks and teen dances around the state. Mike went on to study music at Oklahoma City University before moving to Fort Worth, Texas and later to Houston. There he joined Bloontz, a blues-rock band which moved to New York after securing a recording deal with Evolution Records. While living in New York he was hired by Johnny Nash to become Musical Director and form a backing band for the singer.
Montgomery was also active on the New York session scene, recording with David Bowie / Lulu, and Blood, Sweat & Tears among many others. In 1975 he was approached to replace Ian Hunter as front-man in Mott The Hoople but decided to respond instead to legendary guitarist Paul Kossoff’s request that he move to London to form a band with him. Back Street Crawler was quickly signed to a deal with Atlantic Records. After leaving Crawler in 1976, Mike recorded a solo album with an all-star cast of friends (Thin Lizzy, Blood Sweat and Tears, Meatloaf, etc…).
Mike moved back to New York in the early 80’s and had been involved in a variety of projects, including the scoring of the film “Vice Squad”. Johnny Winter, Roy Buchanan, and Rick Derringer are among the many artists he worked with during this time. He later formed the band Rough House a primal mixture of blues, R&B, and high octane rock and roll.
Mike passed away in 1991 after a hard-fought battle with Lung Cancer.
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