Dan Montgomery Memphis Musicion and Songwriter Lyrics

Philadelphia Inquirer Reviews Dan's Latest Release:

"Montgomery keeps it real - there are not a lot of happy endings here - but he makes the journey a richly rewarding one. Once again, everything is framed in superbly crafted arrangements that dip into country, folk, even gospel ("Working on a Building" plays off the standard of that title), and flat-out rock ("Wheels of Soul"). And, like Montgomery's often hangdog vocals, they're suffused with a deep soulfulness."

Lyrics and Music from Dan Montgomery in Memphis

Rosetta, please (a love story)

Reviews, lyrics, and the Rosetta story

  • Where To Buy Rosetta, Please Right Now:

    cdBaby | Amazon.com | iTunes | Yahoo! Music | cdUniverse | cdWow

    Rosetta, please(a love story) has charted at Number 5 on the Euro Americana Chart, Number 4 on The Miles of Music Best Seller List, Number 23 on The FAR Report

  • Rick Cornell - No Depression Jan - Feb. 2007


    New Jersey raised, Memphis based journeyman Dan Montgomery knows that the best stories are told in the most dive - like bars. This one's the tale of an ex-con who falls for a prostitute, a love-hate relationship that's heavy on the former with intermittent howers of the latter. Montgomery's depiction, presented across this album's nine well-crafted roots-rock songs, is so unflinchingly detailed that at the record's end, your clothes carry the smell of cigarette smoke and desperation. "Baby baby,when you coming home?/Baby baby, are you coming home?" Montgomery's protagonist asks in a voice that damn well knows the answer.

    This is the same guy who, bitterness somehow coexisting with affection, later offers "She wasn't what you'd call the girl next door/ Unless you lived next to the local whore". Montgomery's most brilliant stroke is also giving Rosetta a voice, on a pair of songs that recall Alejandro Escovedo at his most brooding, down to the interplay between cello and violin. "Long Long Night" is especially effective: "I work for the money/ The money's for the drugs/ The drug's for the pain" is one of the most succinct definitions of vicious cycle ever put to record. This is the kind of astonishingly good album that will inspire you to bend the ear of the person the next stool over.

  • Steven Ramm - Anything Phonographic

    Among the (literally) hundreds of singer/songwriters I heard at the annual Folk Alliance Conference this year, the voice of Dan Montgomery stood out. Though Dan will never be accused of having a "pretty" voice, the roughness adds to the melancholy of many of his songs that - based on this album - seem to have a lot to do with loneliness after the break up of a relationship.

    The standout track here - and the one that had me coming back to hear more - is "Favorite Color". It's got a "hook" that won't leave you alone.

    The album was produced by Ben Vaughn and Peter Case is here singing Harmony with Montgomery, adding additional creditability to his song writing talent. The arrangements, with just the right amount of strings - as well as organ (or is that keyboards?) on the final cut, "The Way You Hurt" (a bit long at over seven minutes) - are creative and support Montgomery's well-worn vocals. Some of the songs here might find a home with other "Americana" artists as well.

    I'm sure glad I ventured in the room at the moment Montgomery was showcasing.

  • Robert Gordon - Author of It Came From Memphis and Can't Be Satisfied

    "You know how a guitar case knows more after it¹s traveled? Dan Montgomery picked up plenty during his highway years, pouring into these songs good licks, sweet melodies, and observations witty and astute. This collection is a solid first chapter in what will surely be a prolific catalog."
  • Memphis Commercial Appeal - Dan Montgomery Show with Candace & Robert Mache

    "DAN MONTGOMERY brings a rock music sensibility to the Americana genre, along with the ability to shine a strong light into some very dark corners."

    Memphis' Acclaimed Americana artist Dan Montgomery will return to Otherlands on Friday. His current band includes guitarist Robert Mache formerly of The Continental Drifters , along with J.D. Westmoreland of Devil Train on bass, Jesse Williams (Groundspeak, Cotton & Coal) on drums and special guest Candace Mache singing harmony.

    Join them as they perform songs from their just completed new album entitled You'll Never Be A Bird, due for release this summer.It was produced by Kevin Cubbins known for his work with Cory Brannan, Snowglobe and many more. This 12 song exploration into what Dan calls "OmniFolk" covers a wide range of styles, from the lilting lullaby of the title track to the heavy rock of "Wheels of Soul", to all points in between.

    Years of gigging, from large concert halls to intimate house concerts, have honed Dans performance skills to make him a true must see artist. Along the way, hes shared the stage with such performers as; Amos Lee, Lucero, Cory Brannan, Jason Isbell, David Wilcox ,Victoria Williams, Peter Holsapple & Chris Stamey, Jack Ingram, Ben Vaughn, Slobberbone, Steve Forbert, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Colin Gilmore & Rosie Flores. Whether hitting the boards with his always evolving band The Dan Montgomery 3+3 or alone with his battered old Gibson acoustic, Dan brings it every night!

    "If Charles Bukowski could have carried a tune, he might have sounded like Dan Montgomery. In lesser hands, such desperation might overwhelm, but Montgomery guides his listeners with freedom and wit." - Andria Lisle, Memphis Flyer

    "Dan Montgomery's ability to spot people you'd never notice and turn them into characters you can't resist is uncanny." Shaun Dale - Cosmik Debris

    Dan's previous release Rosetta, please(a love story) on the Makeshift Music label was voted album of the year in the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Independent in North Carolina and No Depression called it "An Astonishingly Good Record" ! You can read the full N.D. review at :


  • Rosetta's Story

    A guy walks into a bar...

    All the best stories start with either that line or "Once upon a time", and this ain't that kind of story...

    I walk into a bar one night and this guy says to me "Sit down buddy; let me tell you my story. I'll buy you a drink or two". Drinks are poured, time can be bought. This becomes a pertinent point over the course of the evening.

    This guy's mad and blowing off steam. "Problems with the old lady he says. Familiar story, I think. "She's a whore he keeps repeating. It's nothing I want to hear, but he's buying. Hes running hot & cold. He loves her/He loves her not. A few drinks in and a few more stories/rants and I realize she really is a whore. I think that is worse on her than him. I try to imagine where she is at that moment and how someone ends up there.

    You can see how confused this guy is and feel for him, although he's pretty pathetic. He can't even get it together enough to be her pimp. So I try to get him to tell me more. It's the usual: Jail, Drugs, and Temptation. He'd rather talk about how sorry she'll be when he gets his shit together and leaves her. Then he veers back to how he needs her despite it all. "Do you know what she's doing; do you know what she's doing right now? My mind drifts to where she's at right now and what she's doing.

    Then, as the bar lights come on, he say's "There she is. She looks worn out. She pays his tab and leaves with a man who waits in the doorway. They stumble out, arms around each other. It was hard to tell who was holding up whom.

    My new friend looks up as they leave and says Rosetta, please

  • Lyrics: I'll Be The One Who Loves You So

    I'll be the one who loves you so
    Loves you enough to let you go
    I'll be the one who does what's right
    I'll be the one who dreams of you tonight

    I'll be the one you run back to
    I'll be the one, the one you always come back to

    I'll be the one when you crash & burn
    Who doesn't say now what have you learned
    I'll be the one when the dust all clears
    To hold you close & dry your tears

    Part of me wants you to make it on your own
    Part of me wants you to break down and come home

    Go run the streets - go run your mouth
    Go run & hide and when you come back out
    I'll be the one who's standing here
    The one who's loved you for all these years

  • Lyrics: Rosetta, please

    Rosetta, please won't you let me be your friend
    Rosetta, please won't you let me be your friend
    Let me come home - I can't live alone
    Rosetta, please won't you let me be your friend

    Rosetta, you left a hole inside my heart
    Rosetta, you left a hole inside my heart
    I tried to fill it - but I just can't kill it
    Rosetta, you left a hole inside my heart

    Rosetta, you've got eyes as dark as night
    Rosetta, you've got eyes as dark as night
    But they would shine - when she was mine
    Rosetta, you've got eyes as dark as night

    Rosetta, you're the kind that they say boy oh boy
    Rosetta, you're the kind that they say boy oh boy
    But they don't know - how she hurt me so
    Rosetta, you're the kind that they say boy oh boy

    Rosetta, please won't you let me be your friend
    Rosetta, please won't you let me be your friend
    Let me come home - I can't live alone
    Rosetta, please won't you let me be your friend

  • Lyrics: Still Want You

    I could stand before you
    put a diamond in your hand
    And still have to assure you
    That I wanna be your man

    And there's nothing i can tell you
    That I ain't said before
    Yeah i still want you
    Just not as much any more

    Stop thinkin' 'bout the good times
    Concentrating on the bad
    Cause you know that sometimes i find
    It's easier to just be mad

    I could tell you what i want to
    But I'd just feel like a fool
    Yeah i still want you
    That's just cause the moon is full

    I was underneath your window
    I heard everything you said
    Now i know which way the wind blows
    And I'm wishing i was dead

    If there's someone you should run to
    Then there's nothing more to say
    Yeah i still want you
    I'm just better off this way

  • Lyrics: Favorite Color

    Baby Baby where you goin' tonight
    Baby Baby where you goin' tonight
    You know what you're doin' just aint right

    Baby Baby when you comin' home
    Baby Baby are you comin' home
    You know I'll be here all alone

    Did you know my favorite color's blue
    Did you know my favorite color's blue
    It's been that way since I met you

    Baby Baby are you goin' downtown
    Baby Baby are you goin' downtown
    i can see by that dress just where you're bound
    Baby's gone to meet her sugarman

    Baby 's gone to meet her sugarman
    She'll get that money any way she can

    Baby come home all sad & high
    Baby come home all sad & high
    And I know better than to ask her why

  • Lyrics: Outside

    I believe in what I see
    What I can hold in my hand
    These things make sense to me
    These things I can understand

    So I don't need a hundred words
    When one or two - will more than do
    I don't need a hundred ways for you to say
    What you want to say - right now
    Streetlights are all burned out
    It's been that way at least a year
    Ever since I got turned out
    I know my way around here

    So I don't need a dozen reasons
    When there's just two - for someone like you
    When you feel down - you just go to town
    And throw your money all around

    Last June I was a dancer - it seemed like the answer
    But it hurt so I got high
    December now it's snowing - my marks are showing
    Now I just stand outside
    A hole ain't really a hole
    If you can just step out
    A soul ain't really a soul
    Until it's been in doubt

    I could use a thousand bucks
    To make my luck turn all around
    Even with twice as much
    I'd still be stuck on this side of town
    Last June I was a dancer - it seemed like the answer
    But it hurt so I got high
    December now it's snowing - by march I'll be showing
    Now I just stand outside

  • Lyrics: Straight

    Since I got straight - put on a little weight
    But i'm hardly ever late - since I got straight

    Since I got clean - i'm hardly ever mean
    And I ain't afraid to be seen -
    Since I got clean
    Since I got clean

    Since they taught me how to pray -
    I hardly miss a day
    And I don't gotta figure out the way
    Since they taught me how to pray

    Yeah and since I seen the light -
    I don't gotta figure wrong from right
    And I don't hang out all night
    Since I seen the light -
    Since I seen the light

    Since they let me out of jail
    I paid back all my bail
    And I make my meetings without fail
    Since they let me out of jail

    When they sign me out for sure
    When I ain't gotta go back there no more
    You know I can't wait
    Till I'm not straight
    Till I'm not straight
    And I can't wait

  • Lyrics: Out On A Tear

    Sit down buddy let me tell you my story
    I'll buy you a drink or two
    Let me bend an ear - let me shed a tear
    And tell me what you think I should do

    It's a sad story but their all sad stories
    Or we wouldn't be in this place
    So let me tell you mine while I pour the wine
    Till the look changes on your face

    She wasn't what you'd call the girl next door
    Unless you lived next to the local whore
    I could tell you so much more - but it wouldn't be right
    But I don't care once I'm out on a tear
    And I'm not going home tonight

    Religious I ain't - but I had the patience of a saint
    Till I fell in love with a tramp
    I was fresh out of the joint so I figured what's the point
    I could never do better than that

    It's a sin to drink this much & still feel bad
    Thinkin' bout the kind of night she's had
    Waiting for her to come & pay my tab
    And I know that that ain' t right
    But I don't care once I'm out on a tear
    And I'm not going home tonight

    People need to talk, it's their nature to talk
    But there's things you can't tell a friend
    But since we just met, I figure it's a safe bet
    We might ever see each other again

    Tell me all the things that you might do
    There's so many things I could learn from you
    As long as you know that I'm gonna do
    Exactly what I like
    Cause I don't care once I'm out on a tear
    And I'm not going home tonight

  • Lyrics: A Long Long Night

    My feet are tired - my back is sore
    It's been a long night
    I've still got one more

    And this one's new - so I don't know what he likes
    Oh the things some people do
    It's been a long night

    Some people just wanna be heard
    Some people just wanna be touched
    Some people they want just what you'd think
    They'd want
    And some people the just want too much

    It's not for me to judge
    It's for me to get it right
    My feet are tired, my back is sore
    It's been a long night

    I hope this don't go long - sometimes the hour it just drags
    When they come on so strong
    To show themselves they ain't no fag

    As long as it don't hurt - then everything's alright
    It could always be worse
    It's been a long night

    It was supposed to be the easy money
    Cut out the middle man
    But I come home with my knees all bloody
    Cause I ain't got no better plan

    Now the snow has turned to rain
    So I pull my collar tight
    My feet are tired, my back is sore
    It's been a long long night

    I work for the money
    The money's for the drugs
    The drug's for the pain
    And I just can't work enough
    The pain's from the work
    So it all starts again
    The work's for the money
    The money's for the drugs
    And the drugs for the pain

    Some people might say I'm weak
    Some people say I got no pride
    Some people they got no room to speak
    With the way they live their lives

    I wanna get done & go home -
    I hope my man & me don't fight
    My feet are tired, my back is sore
    It's been a long long night

  • Lyrics: The Way You Hurt

    The way you look - well you sure look worried
    Bout' the path you took - and the past you buried
    Is there something I should do

    The way you talk - well I've heard that before
    I talked that talk - when you walked out the door
    Is there something I should say

    Didn't anybody ever break your heart
    Didn't anybody ever break your heart
    Like you broke mine - that time

    The way you walk - with your head hung down
    Like you won't hear the talk - in this talk talk town
    Is there something I should know
    When you lefy me - you said that i'd be fine
    Remember you told me it was only - a matter of
    Time - of time

    The way you hurt
    The way you cry
    That's the way I hurt
    When you told me goodbye
    Is there something I should feel

    The way you talk
    The way you look
    The way you walk
    The way you hurt

    And the way you hurt

  • Rosetta, Please - The Recording Story

    How does a simple three day recording session become a year long obsession with telling a story?
    Rosetta, please(a love story) is just that; a love story about a man fresh out of jail and his girlfriend walking the streets, working the streets to pay his bar tab, her other expenses. It is a story told to me one night in a bar many years ago that never left me.

    But this right here is the story of how this all got recorded over a simple weekend that became a year:

    It all started in March of 05. I was in New Jersey on the last leg of the Man from Out Of State tour. I was due to come back home to Memphis and join my band at Easley McCain Studios (where most of Man From... was recorded) for three days with Kevin Cubbins (Snowglobe, Cory Brannan) behind the board. One night after a gig I got a call about the now famous fire there. Things would be a little delayed.

    As Kevin scrambled to rerecord so many bands, we worked in a new drummer(Jason Hatcher along with Maggie Vesey on Bass & Mike Vesey her dad on Steel Guitar, Baritone Guitar, Electric Sitar & Mandolin and myself on Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Harp & Vocals), but by July we were itching to record. Scott Bomar offered us some recording time at his Electraphonic Studios. Scott was right in between scoring the films Hustle & Flow and Blacksnake Moan. We cut for two days and then laid some overdubs here & there afterward. We used Marc Franklin from the Bo Keys on keyboards (all done in two hours before Marc had to leave to hit the road with Bobby Blue Bland!) and Roy Brewer on violin.

    As the storyline of the album came together, I knew we had a few more songs to record but Scotts schedule went crazy with movie stuff. Out of nowhere, Kevin Cubbins showed up, took us into Young Avenue Sound. We cut the remaining few songs and added Jonathan Kirkcsey on Cello and Kim Richardson on harmonies. Then I was off to Cali.

    See, originally, I was gonna do this whole record in Venice, CA at my friend Ben Vaughns Sonic Workshop Studio. The plan was for me to have a studio band with members of John Prine & Lucinda Williams band among other alt. country names. But, I love my band and theyve worked hard for very little bread and they could play the songs as well as anybody. So we recorded in Memphis & mixed it in California.

    While out there, we did add a few parts by a couple of friends (ex Plimsoloes/Nerves, now Grammy nominated singer songwriter Peter Case on harmonies, the great Duane Jarvis played some mandolin and the equally great Kevin Jarvis brothers added percussion as well as being the engineer at Sonic. Mr. Vaughn also added some guitar touches as well.) The mixing was done by the amazing Ethan Allen. Ethan was Daniel Lanois engineer for many years in New Orleans and has credits running from Joe Henry to Luscious Jackson to many many more.

    When we got it all done, I spent a long time tinkering with it. At one point it was a seventy minute record with an overture, ending instrumental and string pieces to interlock the songs. Very Precious. Too precious. The characters in this story are anything but precious. Somewhere along the way I started stripping it all down to the bare essentials. I found that rather than thinking in terms of a musical screenplay (in three acts!), that it had more strength as a musical short story.

    People say that the album as a form is dying. I wanted to do something that warranted the commitment someone would give it by listening to it all the way. It works on a song by song basis if youre just flipping through, but I really wanted to make sure that if you signed on as a listener that you would remember these songs and the people in them.

    In the meantime, we as live band Dan Montgomery & The Professional Badasses (with new drummer Bo Holman), have been honing our performance skills on a regular basis, including an exceptionally received East Coast tour last April including a sold out Philadelphia, PA show where we presented Rosetta. please (a love story) in its entirety. 

Get Adobe Flash player
The home page lists upcoming show dates
We'll see you soon, thanks!
Find booking info here...