When blues legend James Montgomery plays the harmonica, he “brings it on home”. Whether it’s recording with Kid Rock, sitting in with Gregg Allman, or fronting his hot band of thirty years, Montgomery plays with authority. While growing up in Detroit he learned first-hand from the masters – James Cotton, John Lee Hooker, and Jr. Wells – at the legendary “Chessmate.” Over the years, he’s carried on in the tradition and continues to be a vital presence in Blues as one of the most dynamic performers on the scene.
“the John Mayall of New England”
In 1970, while attending Boston University, Montgomery formed the James Montgomery Band. His inimitable (oh yeah, he majored in English) harmonica playing combined with his incredibly energetic live shows led to the band’s quick ascension on the New England music scene. Within two years, the James Montgomery band was among the hottest acts in Boston along with J. Geils and Aerosmith, and they were quickly signed to a multi-album deal with Capricorn Records.
Montgomery has toured with many major artists, including Aerosmith, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, the Allman Brothers, Steve Miller and others. He has jammed on stage with B.B.King, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Jr. Wells, James Cotton, Charlie Daniels, Bonnie Raitt, Greg Allman, Laverne Baker, Patti LaBelle, and Peter Wolf among others, including an impromptu session with Mick Jagger at New York’s “Trax”.
Over the years Montgomery’s band has been a springboard for many musicians. Members of his band have included Billy Squire, Wayne Kramer (MC-5), Jeff Golub (Rod Stewart), Jim McCarty (Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels), Nunzio Signore Bo Diddley), Jeff Pevar (Ray Charles Orchestra, Crosby, Stills & Nash), Bobby Chouinard (drummer with Ted Nugent, Squire and Robert Gordon), Jeff Levine (Joe Cocker), Aerosmith’s Tom Gambel, and many others.
29 year old, Boston and New York based, Honduran American violinist, Marissa Licata, is a star powerhouse soloist. Her electrifying passion and vibrant presence have been featured on international and world-renowned stages. With over 15 years of classical violin training, and her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the New England Conservatory, Marissa proved her natural versatility on her very first audition for Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull – winning the lead violin spot on his 2006 US tour. She would go on to join Jethro Tull for 5 more international tours.
Marissa quickly became high in demand as both a featured soloist and recording artist. In the years from 2007 – 2011, Ms. Licata collaborated on projects and performed on national and international tours with Alicia Keys, Ben Harper, Ringo Starr, Dave Stewart of Eurythmics, Gloria Estefan, Pras of the Fugees, Jermaine Paul, Elle Varner, Gaby Wilson, and many more.