James Montgomery: From Detroit to the Delta

“It was the first time I ever saw a band play live blues with harmonica. At the Chessmate, anyone could go because it was all ages – this was around ’66. Detroit had a great blues scene back then. At the Chessmate you could go in and catch a Muddy Waters set and then see the backstage shows. They’d have jams in the dressing rooms with John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters & James Cotton – it was just a really great time to grow up in Detroit.” ~James Montgomery {Metro Times/Brett Callwood}

Although James Montgomery was born in Detroit, by the end of the sixties he’d made his way to Boston, hoping to make a name in the more blues-heavy northeast. Apparently James made the right choice as he did well for himself, playing cities where blues and jazz artists are well appreciated and even today gigs are easy for him to book.

A life-long blues man, {singing & harp} James has played, collaborated and formed friendships with some of the best: B.B. King, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker to name a few. He has played alongside his longtime guitarist, Jimmy McCarty, as well as, Johnny Winter, the Allman Brothers, Aerosmith, J. Giels, and Wayne Kramer (MC5).

Montgomery will headline the ‘Antifreeze Blues Festival’ at The Magic Bag in Ferndale on January 6th and has an upcoming record, collaborating with The Uptown Horns, James Cotton, Brad Whitford (Aerosmith), Johnny Winter, & DMC from Run DMC – called “From Detroit to the Delta”. For info on the blues fest & his new cd:

The Magic Bag

James Montgomery


2 thoughts on “James Montgomery: From Detroit to the Delta

  1. Nice entry. Reminded me of the great days I had hanging around my generation of blues musicians in the ’90s. Great times! I think the Antifreeze was originally called the Deep Freeze Blues Festival, started years ago by my friend and former owner of the Magic Bag, Steve “Sam” Milgrom. What fun we had back then in that venue! Your blog today will nudge me to see James Montgomery next weekend — I’m sure to run into many people I used to know! Glad I read your post; it brings back warm memories.

  2. Aida, I’m so glad that you found it and I hope you have a great time at the blues fest. Thank you for reading and for taking the time to write such a nice comment.

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