After nine studio albums, three greatest hits compilations, and a string of hits that date all the way back to “Life’s A Dance” from his 1992 debut album of the same name, John Michael Montgomery is striking out on his own.

In addition to the title of “certified country superstar,” Montogomery can now add “Chief Executive Officer” to his long list of accomplishments. Montogomery has left Warner Brothers to found his own independent music label named Stringtown Records—which takes its name from a small community near his hometown of Danville, Ky.—in order to gain more creative control over his music and its distribution, as well as to help nurture the careers of emerging country artists. Not to mention cut a few hits.

“I have always been intrigued with the production side of this business and I want to give others an opportunity like I had,” Montgomery says in a press release. “Every aspect of my career has prepared me for this new venture.”

Time Flies is the aptly-titled first album from the fledgling label. Montgomery says he recently began thinking about how quickly the days add up into years, and the importance of celebrating all that we’ve been given while looking ahead to the time we have left.

“All In A Day” captures this sentiment in the story of a lifetime told in terms of a 24-hour span, and also reaffirms Montgomery’s mastery of the country ballad. The rest of the album—from “If You Ever Went Away,” the first single, to the swaggering “Mad Cowboy Disease,” the humorous “With My Shirt On,” and the sizzling power ballad “Forever”—finds Montgomery revisiting signature styles from throughout his career with fresh ears.

On the whole, the album is sure to satisfy Montgomery fans both new and old, and is a promising new chapter in a long and storied career.

John Michael Montgomery

Time Flies

Stringtown Records (2008)

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