Chiefly considered a Country rocker, Tim Montana is a true Renaissance man, moonlighting as a TV personality, marksman, father, husband, grill master, songwriter, hot sauce connoisseur, hell-raiser, truck driver, philanthropist and businessman. Raised in a single-wide without electricity in the wilds near Butte, Montana, Tim Montana (yes, it's his real name), spent many years grinding it out by taking odd jobs just to pay the bills (like cleaning kennels, frying chickens, operating a carousel, being a ranch hand) and racked up lifetimes worth of unbelievable stories.
With a mix of innate talent, unrelenting hustle, grit, gasoline and magnetic charisma, Montana is now signed with Music Knox Records/BBR Music Group. Tim released his label debut album (produced by the award-winning Michael Knox), Long Shots in April 2021 and is already prepared to release its follow up EP, Reno. While the Long Shots title served as a nod to the hard road Montana had to take to achieve his dream and how he overcame his struggles against all odds. Reno is a display of gratitude to all of those who have taken a gamble on him and supported him being his authentic self. The music, befitting of its lyrical themes, is Country Rock—but don’t mistake it for Southern. With geography impacting Tim’s musical influences, he’s located somewhere between Seattle and its grunge, Texas’ roadhouse, Nashville’s Country, Wyoming’s Chris LeDoux, and the Heartland’s Rock. The music of both projects embraces hard living, the American experience and the blue-collar way—it’s an ode to the underdogs and screams “hard work pays off,” something Tim knows a lot about.
"It wasn't easy for me on Music Row, but all my life I’ve never let outside factors stand in the way of my aspirations—instead the rejection fueled me to dig my heels in more, get a little scrappier and work even harder," he says. "Now we're doing things in Nashville in a way that hasn't been done before—it’s been a blast and makes those days shoveling shit worth it.”
With Reno, Tim leaves behind all preconceived notions about what tastemakers are looking for, who he should collaborate with, how a project is supposed to flow or when a project should be released and delivers his favorite and most bona fide music to date. Across the six songs, Tim is unabashedly himself—lyrically, sonically and artistically. It’s a little Rock, a lot of grit, influenced by the West and speaks to his values, beliefs and lifestyle. The self-explanatory “Guy Like Me” even spells out exactly what to expect from him.
Unapologetic, relatable and raw, each song is delivered convincingly from the well-seasoned hustler whose gritty vocals add an additional layer of authenticity. The lively merrymaker even shares his more vulnerable thoughts with “Stoned On You,” which finds him at a party having fun but longing to be home enjoying the quiet moments. Chosen as the title track to also be a nod to the type who finds Vegas too gaudy and expensive, opting for the humbler Reno to get their kicks, in “Reno” we see the bluesy aftereffect of getting burnt-out and the yearning to find comfort in vices in the unpretentious "Biggest Little City in the World."
Always one to embrace the rough-and-tumble and his working-class comrades who aren’t afraid to do the dirty work, his new “American Dream” is an anthem for finding your own kind of happiness that reassures folks that it doesn't have to be cookie cutter, glitzy or picturesque to be accepted or enjoyed. Tim is constantly celebrating the wage-earning lifestyle and all of the plights, circumstances, stories and preferences that stem from that existence. Continuing the sentiment of his previously released, “I Ain’t Ashamed,” about letting your character define you, not your background or circumstance and being proud of who you are—in the “American Dream” video, he invites the world to see the trailer he grew up in, proudly sharing his unrefined meager upbringing.
“ I wanted to make sure people know that it’s a celebration of that low class, ‘if you’re not dirty, nobody trusts you’ mountain life. I am Butte American and damn proud of it. It’s character that defines a man.”
Tim puts that concept into song with the comforting track, “Real Good People” featuring Colbie Caillat. Which shares a similar vibe and attitude with “Good By Me” (released February 2022) that celebrates the good folks doing good things in the world. The song praises the kindness of others and good heartedness—something Tim holds dear. As passionate advocate for the U.S. military, Tim helps tell the stories of patriots like Rob O'Neill and the late "American Sniper" Chris Kyle and supports many fundraising efforts for military families. His second annual Tim Montana & Friends American Thread Sporting Clays Shoot raised $450,000 for two charities that benefit our military, doubling the amount raised in its first year (and then some).
He's a gregarious personality and struck up friendships with such diverse figures as Kid Rock and the Navy SEAL who led the raid to take down Osama bin Laden, Rob O'Neill. In a uniquely Tim Montana way, he somehow found himself in the company of David Letterman during a trip back home to Montana, and the talk-show host personally invited him to perform the Late Show days later. During the pandemic, Montana tapped a smattering of his notable circle of friends (Charlie Sheen, Lee Brice, Chris Kirkpatrick, Michael Ray, Chase Rice, Travis Pastrana, to name a few) for the video for his and Mat Best’s song “Quarantine.” He also enlisted Sheen to direct his video for “Mostly Stoned,” off his album, American Thread and eventually even purchased the actor’s old tour bus—and subsequently earned his CDL license so he can drive it cross country on tour.
In Kid Rock, Montana found a kindred rebel spirit and began one of his most prolific creative periods, opening for the Rap-Rock icon and co-writing two charting singles for Rock's Sweet Southern Sugar album: the Top 10 Country hit "Tennessee Mountain Top" and the Number 16 Rock anthem "Greatest Show on Earth." The influences of that friendship can be heard in Reno’s “California Love,” which samples the iconic 2Pac song for a jam that is sure to crush live.
"The way we write songs is very similar, our performance style is full-throttle and we instantly hit it off,” he says of his relationship with Rock.
But it's ZZ Top's legendary Billy F. Gibbons with whom Montana has formed his longest and most prosperous relationship. Natural collaborators, the pair has written, recorded and performed together (as individual artists and as the duo, Whisker Brothers) countless times, co-writing songs like "This Beard Came Here to Party" and the aforementioned “California Love.” Montana and Gibbons have even launched their own Whisker Bomb brand, selling two pepper sauce flavors “Original” and “Have Mercy Hot and have recently added salsas and BBQ sauces to their offerings. Whisker Bomb products are available at H-E-B, Pop Shelf by Dollar General and on the Whisker Bomb website.
Barbecue is a cornerstone of Montana's life— he regularly posts videos of him and his cohorts cooking his fresh game on an epic grill with his rabid following. A brand ambassador for Traeger Grills, Montana has performed with Dave Grohl at the company's all-star weekend and taught a how-to-barbecue class to music-industry executives. In addition to Traeger, Montana is a spokesperson and influencer for Ravin, CenterPoint, Crosman, Benjamin, Black Rifle Coffee, Snap-On Tools, Polaris, Fender, Gerber, Indian Motorcycles, Kicker Performance Audio, Orange Amplifiers, and more— he also has his own companies (in addition to Whisker Bomb): Tim Montana’s Vigilante Cigars (with Big Sky Cigars) and Ol’ Boy Apparel. He also stars in his own show, “Tim Montana's Wild Side” on Velocity Outdoor Channel and can add actor to his resume, appearing in movies like The Last Son and Murder at Yellowstone City.
With a fourth baby just added to his family, continued songwriting and businesses to keep growing—in addition to touring steadily, headlining his own shows as well as hitting the road with folks like Koe Wetzel, Lee Brice, Travis Tritt and Aaron Lewis
How he finds the time to balance it all, we’ll never know but we do know he's nowhere near finished.
For Montana, the Big Sky is the limit.