This week’s ‘what made you country’ features Kristian Montgomery who performs with the Winterkill Band.

 

The first country song I ever heard was Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash.  The country singer that really steered me toward country was Larry Gatlin.  His was the first concert I ever saw. The harmonies were haunting and I wanted to sing like that.

The five songs that defined my country direction are below.

 

 

About these songs, Kristian notes that his parents told him he used to dance to Grandma’s Feather Bed, and that Big Sky Country was the song that showed him the more sensual side of music. He believes Ring of Fire is the song that ‘gets the devil in him’.

 

As for his own music?  Kristian is honest and open when he says the album was written primarily in a cell at a house of corrections in New England.  He tells us he risked his health by paying child support instead of buying his medication, and then made the mistake of sharing his thoughts with the judge.  Once freed, he knew music was something no one could take from him – so he went about recording it.  A 5-song EP soon turned into a 16-track album and eight months later, The Gravel Church was born.
Used. Lived-in. Honest. These words describe The Gravel Church to a tee.  This album is a heavier, grungier take on country-rock with full guitars, heartfelt and hard-hitting lyrics and a drumming style more reminiscent of rock or jazz than country – but that only serves to make the music more interesting and vibrant.  Razor Wire Heart has harmonies that wouldn’t be out of place on an Alice in Chains album, whilst Hjertebygger is sweeping and cinematic, and She’s No Cadillac has some true, traditional vibes to anchor the album firmly on the country side of rock.
You can follow Kristian on Instagram @winterkill_band and Facebook.  You can buy music on Bandcamp. stream on Spotify or visit his website.