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Austin-Based Singer/Songwriter Bonnie Montgomery Releases New Travelogue Album

Inspired be her 19-Day voyage to China via boat.

Austin-Based Singer/Songwriter Bonnie Montgomery Releases New Travelogue Album

Austin-based Award winning singer/songwriter Bonnie Montgomery presents her most vulnerable collection of songs in a new musical experience that takes listeners through a 19-day voyage on a freight ship across the Pacific.

BOAT SONGS 2002, written and performed by Montgomery, is part album, part readers theater, and part musical, presented in the analogue, lo-fi sonic realm of a 4 track cassette recorder from the 1980s.

The collection of heartfelt country songs, Stephen Foster-esque parlor ballads, and even rapturous piano etudes, is inspired by Montgomery's voyage to Hong Kong from Little Rock, Arkansas to take a university job when she was 22. BOAT SONGS 2002 is available on all streaming platforms.

Montgomery recorded the songs in BOAT SONGS 2002 in the spring of 2003 and they sat on cassette tapes until 2020. They have been excavated and delicately bookended with classical piano variations of each song. The variations serve as accompaniment to spoken word passages that were taken from Montgomery's actual travel diary, packed with operatic romance, wanderlust, and age-old delusions of the sea. Montgomery composed each piece, plays every instrument (viola, piano, guitar and organ), performs all the vocals, including the spoken word selections on the album.

This "lost at sea" mindset was what led Montgomery to release the lo-fi album during the darkest days of the pandemic. About the release, Montgomery says, "The mindset of endlessly waiting, and remembering the pre-pandemic world took me back to the feeling of being on a freight ship for 19 days and the things I wrote during that time. I wanted to share that feeling with everyone, because I thought it might help us all relate right now. I also loved working on such a light-hearted and youthful subject. These are songs that my dearest fans have cherished from live shows over the years, so I wanted to give them something unique during these dark days."

Montgomery is a creative nomad, lauded as enthusiastically for her polished parlor songs as she is for her lawless country barnburners - or for the classical opera arias she's penned at the piano. With roots in White County, Arkansas and a firm foothold on forward-thinking audiences in Texas, Montgomery is armed with a poet's phrasing, a soprano's crystalline timbre and a revolutionary's spirit, and her repertoire ranges wherever it damn well pleases - from high romantic ballads swaddled in violins to fiery anthems of dissent to spaghetti western-inspired vignettes.

Dale Watson called her "a sophisticated badass who was born to sing." Counterpunch Magazine hailed her operatic compositions as "white trash arias, soaked in alcohol and sex." Her 2016 opera about Bill Clinton's youth in Hot Springs, Billy Blythe, staged in Little Rock and at New York's Metropolis Opera Project, has earned accolades from The New Yorker and Huffington Post. Her second full-length album FOREVER drew praise from Paste magazine for its "timeless songwriting."

Recently, Montgomery's recent collaboration with Broadway and opera star Zachary James, "Song Beyond Words, a Vocalise," has garnered national and international attention. The accompanying music video for the song has been honored at a number of film festivals, and was the 2021 winner of the Palm Beach International Music Awards and the Standalone Film Festival in Los Angeles. Inspiration for the piece came primarily from Montgomery's time at Standing Rock, where many of the Native American ceremonial songs she heard were sung on a vowel. The power of those songs at the sacred fire led her to write this song without words.

Montgomery secured the title of 2020 Entertainer of the Year with the Arkansas Country Music Awards, ACMA 2019 Americana/Roots Artist of the Year, the title of Outlaw Female at the 2016 Ameripolitan Awards and the titles of Best Americana Artist and Best Female Vocalist at the 2018 Arkansas Country Music Awards. And, with two new singles produced by rockabilly legend Rosie Flores and a touring collaboration with Texas troubadour Ray Wylie Hubbard in her rearview mirror, Montgomery's leaving little doubt that she's a master in the making - a charismatic collaborator, a commanding bandleader and a prolific, sensitive conduit for big ideas about beauty, defiance and power.

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