John Montgomery | One Step Away

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United States - California - LA

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Pop: Folky Pop Folk: Alternative Folk Moods: Mood: Intellectual
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One Step Away

by John Montgomery

Beautifully crafted alternative folk-pop of unusual depth and power. Debut release from a singer-songwriter to watch.
Genre: Pop: Folky Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Not Now, Not Ever
3:21 $0.99
2. One Step Away
4:58 $0.99
3. By the Border
4:40 $0.99
4. Marry Me
2:50 $0.99
5. In the Mirror
3:28 $0.99
6. Followed by the Sound
5:03 $0.99
7. Feel You Only
4:55 $0.99
8. Good for your Heart
3:17 $0.99
9. When I Paint My Masterpiece
4:59 $0.99
10. Curved like a Bow
2:32 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
John's unique perspective as a songwriter is partly due to his training as a biologist. He earned a bachelor's degree in genetics and a doctorate in neurobiology before dedicating himself to a career in music.

John has explored various forms of writing, but he feels that songwriting is the medium that suits him best. "When harmony and melody and lyric all work together," he says, "you can hit some spots emotionally that are very difficult to reach in any other medium." His musical influences range from Bob Dylan, to Sam Cooke, Van Morrison, Leonard Cohen, and Eric Satie.

John was born in New York City and grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Brooklyn, New York. His father, a journalist for The New York Times, first encouraged John to play the guitar, and also introduced John to his future songwriting idol, Bob Dylan. John's mother, a singer and music teacher in the New York City school system, encouraged him to play music, write songs, and sing from an early age.

John's training as a scientist has informed his life as a musician in surprising ways. "For me, writing a song is very similar to doing scientific research," he says. "There's that same overpowering sense of excitement and release when you think you have something, when you think you've found or rendered some little piece of the truth."

"One Step Away," John's debut CD, co-produced by Dusty Wakeman (Lucinda Williams, Dwight Yoakam, Me'shell Ndegeocello), includes an illustrious cast of supporting musicians, and has received substantial radio play in both the U.S. and Europe. "One Step Away" was featured for several months on listening stations at Tower Record stores in Los Angeles, and Hear Music stores in Santa Monica, Palo Alto, and Berkeley, CA. Songs from "One Step Away" have also appeared on cable television shows and independent films.



to write a review

CT Jermin

A great combination
John Montgomery's 'One Step away' is a rare find. Why? Because it is a great combination of the three essential elements. Exceptional Musicianship, intelligent writing, and solid production. A quality CD from a thoughtful and talented artist. Highly Recommended.

Pho Portland

We really enjoy your music, keep up the good work.
We,Pho Portand would like to get a CD with your autograph that would be so cool. Hope some day you will play at our place.Well OK you have a good night.

Elissa Barcus

I absoultely love all the music on this album. It's beautiful, it's uplifting. An infinite amount of kudos to the wonderful artist who created this.

Dr. Mitch Lewis

Symmetry and balance
I have known John for many years, but this is the first opportunity that I have taken to listen to his craft. He presents a symmetry and balance in his writing and singing that is rarely accomplished by a musician. However, knowing John, that is what I would expect of him ... and he delivers!


John Montgomery is "One Step Away" from greatness with his CD. I am very impressed! Much love, light and props from the PStarR family circle!!! 10.

Eric McCarl, Weaving Libra Records

Music like this in today's market is rare.
I was fortunate to receive a pre-release version of this CD. John Montgomery's debut CD "One Step Away" contains 10 beautifully written, extremely heartfelt songs. In light of today's formula written, cavity-causing, electronic beat-laden teeny pop, it was extremely refreshing to listen to an Artist who actually knows how to craft a great lyric and song. Furthermore, it's obvious that John Montgomery has assembled an excellent cast of supporting musicians and engineers for the first of hopefully many CDs. John chooses from a vast palate of instruments aside from his acoustic guitar that include Dobro, Lap Steel, Cello, Accordian, and even Xaphoon. The final result from this talented group is a CD that is simply a joy to listen to.
To say that there are traces of Jimmie Buffet, Bob Dylan, Jim Croce and Counting Crows (I'd even go as far as to mention Pete Seeger but that would definitely show my age!) sprinkled throughout these songs would probably take away from the fact that John Montgomery has a unique voice and message that many listeners are likely to become very accustomed to. The songs are reminiscent of a time when friends would gather together around a few bottles of wine and listen to songs where the lyrics were just as important as the music. Inevitably, pleasant debate would arise as to what the Artist meant by this or that, but maybe more importantly it was a time where friendly debate was actually encouraged. We could use more music like this.

The only advice I'd give John Montgomery in regards to his future projects would be this: Don't change a thing! Music like this in today's market is rare. And as the listening public thankfully turns away from mass-produced noise that makes Clear Channel's rotation in order to try to keep you listening long enough to hear the next Auto Insurance commercial, there will hopefully be more Independent Artists (and I don't use that word loosely) like John Montgomery to wonderfully fill the void.

I highly recommend this CD!"

H. Rosen, Gadabout

Rarely does someone come along with a CD on which every song is a joy to hear, You are instantly addicted. One Step Away is so hauntingly beautiful in its simplicity, so heartfelt in the complexity of its message, that it brings tears to one’s eyes. “One Step Away" moves you to listen to it over and over and over again. Instantly, these songs will be humming in your head. They transport you to a place that is so touching as to be almost heartbreaking.”

Rob Dunne,

Just to get this said and out of the way, this guy has a great voice. Not great in the 4-octave, vocal-gymnastic sense, but Montgomery was blessed with a resonance that is as sweet and wistful as the valentine you sent to your fourth grade teacher. There is a quiet yearning coupled with a mature insight that adds up to create a clean, honest voice. He reminds me of somebody that I cannot for the life of me pin down, but to perhaps pigeonhole him with an analogy as sounding to me like Paul Simon with a heart that isn’t completely broken. Montgomery has a daunting coversheet that is reflected in the depth of his lyrics. He cites among his influences the great literary minds of Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, James Joyce, Jane Austen and even Carl Jung. Holy Guacamole, Batman! And need I say that he worked as a biologist with a B.S. in genetics and a doctorate in neurobiology. With a rap sheet that buff, I wonder why his title track wasn’t called, “The Cure for Cancer.” That’s quite a credential for a singer/songwriter but all his education has not gone to waste. His lyrics are poetic and graceful, full of imagery and keen insight. Though not as blatantly inscrutable as, say, Dylan or Dewie Bunnel, his songs and their meanings are complex and not easily gleaned. This is a beautifully produced CD with a blend of instrumentation that brings out the best in John’s sweet voice. Cello, violin, accordion and Montgomery’s solid acoustic guitar playing create the perfect vehicle to carry the weight and conviction of his lyrics. Songs “Not Now, Not Ever,” and “Marry Me” are catchy, soft-rockers with an upbeat tone that contrast with the darker, more evocative “In The Mirror,” and “Followed By The Sound.”
© Rob Dunne

Omar Perez,

New York’s John Montgomery started off in the sciences when he earned his doctorate in neurobiology, but somehow decided to pursue music instead. On One Step Away, the decision to pursue a new avenue proves to be a good one. Throughout the ten songs, Montgomery offers bundles of Americana spirit on this roots-rock effort, whether on the instantly hummable chorus of the title track or the cascading acoustic folk strums of “By the Border,” which--- like most of this songs--- projects prose-like lyrics (“the trail was twisting and the leaves were lifting me”). Whether it’s the country-tinged “When I Paint My Masterpiece” or the serene contemporary “Good For your Heart,” One Step Away is a promising debut from a promising artist. --- Omar Perez

Laura T. Lynch of

Musical montages!
John's songs are a nice blend of alternative folk, a touch of pop and well-balanced melodies. He is supported by other talented musicians on a wide assortment of instruments including the dorbo, the lap steel, the organ, the cello, the xaphoon and the accordion. His songs are mulit-layered and textured because of the variety of sounds used. One Step Away is expertly produced. John has clear concise vocals and writes reflective, poetic lyrics that are intimate and well arranged. This CD has a mellow soft flow. The set opens with 'Not Now, Not Ever' with its upbeat rock tempo, intriguing lyrics and heartfelt vocals. 'One Step Away' has a smooth slightly spooky feel, a catchy hook line and enchanting instrumentation, which includes the lap steel and B3 organ. 'In the Mirror' reflects poignant words executed with expressive vocals and subtly accented with the cello. John writes musical montages that tell interesting stories in an honest and original forum.
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