Mike Montrey began his musical foray at the age of 17, when he was spontaneously gifted his first guitar by his mother. While it would seem like a late start for some, Montrey has certainly made up for lost time.
Acting as main songwriter and vocalist/guitarist, Montrey formed the mulit-genre rock band, "...water...", in 2001, with fellow bassist Anthony Duca and keyboardist Matt Tevald. Upon their inception, ...water... garnered a great following and very rewarding press. After completing their second studio album, entitled "Dig", in 2003 (following "The Grass Sun" in 2001 and preceding 2005's "The Spectacular Elevatorâ€ť) New Jersey's Gannett Publications stated: "This band could represent rock's past present and future", and the renowned tri-state music publication, "Upstage Magazine", pronounced Montrey as "...one of the scene's most commanding frontmen, and inventive guitarists."
In 2007, after countless performances at such esteemed venues as The Starland Ballroom (Sayreville, NJ), SXSW Music Fest (Austin, TX), The Knitting Factory (NYC), Musikfest (Bethlehem, PA), and The Stone Pony (Asbury Park, NJ), Montrey was invited to tour nationally as a member of the epic rock band, "The Samples", who had been on the road for 19 years (including tours with Sting, Dave Matthews, and Phish to name a few). Montrey would join the band on guitars and vocals for the 20th anniversary run that would feature performances at The House of Blues (Dallas, TX and Atlantic City, NJ), Tipitina's (New Orleans), Red Rocks (Morrison, CO), and The Highline Ballroom (NYC).
Returning home in 2008, Montrey quickly got back to work and completed his debut solo album, "A Perfect Reality", consisting of 11 original Montrey compositions ranging from rock to country to experimental. The album featured fellow Samples' bandmember, Karl Dietel on keyboards, Adam Garnys (New Blood Revival) on saxophone, Kim Williams (John Ginty, Angus) on strings and piano, Andy Keenan (John Eddie, Citizens Band Radio) on pedal steel guitar and the rhythym section of Rob Smith (drums) and John Mangan (bass). The album was engineered and co-produced by Grammy Award winner, Mike Tarsia (Billy Preston, Patti LaBelle, Joe Pass). Within months of its release (April 19th 2008) the album had debuted at #29 on the Jambands.com radio charts and the singles, "Take Me Down Mississippi" and "Tin Can", were featured as the Garageband.com track of the week and a Relix Magazine jam-off selection respectively. The release was celebrated with a performance at NYC's Sullivan Hall on May 3rd 2008, and on Sept 17th 2008 The College of New Jersey's weekly publication, "The Signal", had this to say about the live show of The Mike Montrey Band: "The audience sat mesmerized by the explosive energy of the music and the enthusiasm and passion of the band members." A Perfect Reality has been nominated for Top Release of 2008 by the prestigous Asbury Music Awards (AMA), and Relix Magazine has posted a feature on on their website in November '08.
The Mike Montrey Band (MMB) currently consists of Hayden Wright on saxophone, former ...water... alum Duke on bass, and the aformentioned Rob Smith and Karl Dietel. The MMB is currently touring regularly.
Mike Montrey Blog