Montgomery Gentry kicked off their first tour without Troy Gentry last week, and Eddie Montgomery admits that Troy’s presence is missed on the tour.
“There’s no way that we can even get on the bus without thinking about him,” Eddie tells “Billboard.” “He used to carry this big wooden spoon all the time, and he’d always be stirring something up, and getting people fired up about something – just smiling. That’s what we’re going to take with us, this year…and forever. That’s the bottom line.”
Eddie says the group’s fans have been particularly helpful as he tries to get over Troy’s September death. “We don’t call them fans – we call them friends, and I would hear from social media, or running into the store,” he says. “One night at a gas station, a man came up and said ‘Me and my best friend in the world – we’ve been friends for 35 years – we were riding motorcycles one day, and he lost control of his and got killed. I know what you’re going through.’ You hear stories of all kinds. It’s helped a lot.”
Eddie says the country community really helped him get through the tragedy as well. “We were blessed to have made a lot of friends – among the legends and superstars,” he shares. “They were calling on the phone, and showing up at the funeral. I can’t thank them enough.” He adds, “They have reached out to me, inviting me to be on shows with them, and that – along with all the letters and the cards – has been unbelievable.”