As a fan of southern country rock, it didn’t take me long to disappear into Tim Montana’s Reno EP, released on Music Knox Records/BBR Music Group/BMG and produced by Michael Knox and Micah Wilshire.
Grit, gravel and guitars; yes please.
Add in a couple of renowned musicians and Reno’s six tracks will kick start your summer.
The Butte, Montana musician happily resides on the corner of West Coast and Midwest, having lived and absorbed life in big sky country, California and Nashville and made authentic pals across all three states. As part of Shrednecks (with ZZ Top’s Billy F Gibbons) Montana’s 2013 This Beard Came Here to Party was even adopted by the Boston Red Sox in the lead up to the World Series.
From the opening track, ‘American Dream’ there’s an element in Reno of hip-hop in the southern rock that fans of Kid Rock and Florida Georgia Line will love. On kick-drum and guitar rocker ‘Guy Like Me’, you’re almost in the bar with the band, raising hell and hanging on the chorus with new found friends.
The tempo slows, briefly, on title track ‘Reno’ with a harmonica providing a front porch layover-esque harmony and character insight to a nature vs Broadway debate that Nashville artists attend to at least once in their career. Colbie Caillat lends her vocals on the penultimate track ‘Real Good People’, one of my favourite songs on the EP.
However, it’s the sixth and final track that grabs a hold of you – a cover of the 2Pac/Dre song ‘California Love’. Montana collaborates with long-time friend and ZZ Top co-founder Billy F Gibbons and Guns N Roses drummer Matt Sorum. I was thrown seeing Joe Cocker’s name in the song’s credits, but thanks to The Sheffield Guide, I now know that samples of his funk track, Woman to Woman, have appeared on several songs. None quite as big as California Love.
EF Country reported that Montana was originally scheduled to tour the UK and Europe (in 2020), and I really hope we see him soon; there’s an outdoor festival somewhere calling his name for a sunset show. Bring the California, love.
Tracklist: 1. American Dream 2. Guy Like Me 3. Reno 4. Stoned on You 5. Real Good People 6. California Love Record Label: BBR / BMG / Music Knox Release Date: 6th May 2022 Purchase: Tim Montana ‘Reno’