Paul’s story begins in the North Country of New York State. A small community one hour north of Syracuse called Watertown. The Montgomery home had a continuous stream of music being played. It flourished much like the wildflowers that you could find in the forest that was a stone’s throw from Paul’s childhood home. Each and every family member was a contributor to the rich inheritance that was to shape Paul’s love for music. It started with his parents fostering an environment that allowed their children to develop a love for music at an early age. Whether it was his mothers love for that hip swiveling, upper lip curling kid from Memphis as he sang about being a Hound-dog, or the fact that Paul’s father always made sure he left his acoustic guitar in plain sight where his children could bang out a sour note or two – the Montgomery brood were blessed to be raised in a home that was filled with music. The sibling influence was a major contributor to Paul’s musical upbringing, as he would sneak into his sister’s rooms to check out the latest 45’s being played. One of the platters being spun on the mono record player was a hit song (at least it was a hit to the Montgomery’s) recorded by an uncle, Frank Filardo. This allowed a connection to be made at an early age for Paul – that music wasn’t something that a person could simply enjoy listening to, but music could actually be something that one becomes an active participant in. This realization manifested itself in a very profound and real way when Paul’s older brother parted with his Mayfair electric guitar just so his kid brother would have an electric guitar to play. Add to that mix a younger brother that was and still is FAN #1 and you can see how Paul was catapulted into a life long love for music and the passion to be a part of the creative process in making it.
The story of Paul’s musical journey contains a lot of familiar themes – starting and ending various bands (with one of the earlier outfits even allowing for a paycheck at the ripe old age of 13), experiencing the highs and lows of teen romance, and of course, how rebellion can get in the way of healthy relationships with mom and dad. Through all the broken strings, broken relationships and high school drama, Paul was diligent to work on his craft and grow as a person and musician. The fall of 1981 found Paul attending the Berklee College of Music. After some earned credits and a ton of life experience, he entered the United States Air Force. He was stationed in Las Vegas, and it was here that he truly became inspired anew by the “band” concept. The importance of working within a community setting to achieve a purpose that is more important than self. This was also a season that allowed Paul to discover the person of Christ. Not just a religious figure or some far away entity, but a living, breathing savior that longs to walk and talk with His creation. The pull for rock stardom was too strong for Paul though, and he chased after his own plans as opposed to the plans that God had designed for him before He framed the cosmos.
Having located to Los Angeles, Paul attained a certain measure of success in the music business. Though the outward appearance of success manifested itself in playing well-known L.A. clubs and opening for nationally known acts, internally Paul was bankrupt. Mentally drained, physically tired and spiritually dried, Paul knew in his heart that it was time for the great exchange. He knew that God was being patient with him, that the love of the Father has been poured into his heart and that it was time to exchange his personal agenda for a higher calling. It was at this crossroads that Paul’s faith became active. He withdrew himself from the band format and began to spend one on one time with God. He began to understand that the un-examined life is not worth living. Doors were opened for Paul to use his gifts in a community setting. Paul began to play guitar on the worship team as well as being inspired to write music that reflected the love that God has for His children. Paul received the honor of being a leader of worship in the community and is now in a position to lead others into the presence of God.
It is the final month of 2011 as this bio is being written, and Paul still enjoys all types of music. The early childhood influences of living on Bishop St. are still there – Elvis, The Jackson 5, Jim Croce and even Uncle Frank. But what motivates Paul in this hour is to live out his days this side of heaven as a road sign pointing to Jesus. You see, Jesus has given Paul a new gift. Well, it’s not really a new gift, just an old one that’s been hanging around a very long time that Paul freely admits to finally having the courage to receive. That is what the music that you can hear at paulmontgomerymusic.com is all about. Paul hopes that you can tap your foot to the beat, dance to the melody and be moved by the musicianship, but above all be challenged by the message – that God is alive and well and He wants to be in relationship with you today.
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