James Montgomery




Members of the Historical Archive Committee of the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame are researching and documenting the career of this important Ocean State musician. When work is completed, we will be posting an in-depth biography and complete discography on this page. In the meantime, please enjoy this introduction to his work.

While attending Boston University in 1970, singer and blues harp player James Montgomery formed the group which would bring him national recognition as one of the greatest bluesmen of his generation. Along with The J. Geils Band and Aerosmith, The James Montgomery Band reestablished Boston as a major music center in the early ‘70s and they were signed to Capricorn Records, home to the Allman Brothers. First Time Out  in 1973 was a hard driving, hard rocking album which introduced the nation to the band’s high energy approach to the blues. 1974’s High Roller, with the legendary Tom Dowd as a co-producer, continued along the same lines and the album’s single, “I Can’t Stop (No, No, No),” became a college radio favorite. A switch to Island Records in 1976 saw the band fusing their Northern blues with the Southern musical gumbo of Louisiana for their self-titled album produced by New Orleans master Allen Toussaint. It was their biggest-selling album and reached #9 on Billboard’s album airplay chart. Since then, James became a Rhode Islander in the late 1980s, released three more studio efforts and several live albums. He is also a philanthropist of note working for more than 30 years with organizations advocating for musicians health care and veterans groups. He currently serves on the Tune In & Tune Up Health Awareness Committee of the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame.