New Lynyrd Skynyrd Guitarist ‘Enjoying the Ride’

Posted on May 9, 2013

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Jacksonville, FLbaboon

Three months ago, Jimmy Lynn Montgomery was just happy to be scratching out a living on the southern club circuit. After two decades lost to alcohol and substance abuse problems, he knew he was lucky to be alive and making music at all, even at backwoods roadhouses for $50 a night.

Today, as he gets ready to kick off a world tour with southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd, he can’t believe his good fortune.

“It makes my brain hurt, man,” says the Brandenton, FL native. “My mama’s up in heaven right now shakin’ her head, I can tell you that,” he laughs. “She always told me, ‘Jimmy Lynn, God gave you nine lives to live. Just like a cat.'”

When Lynyrd Skynyrd kicks off its “Hoary Old Rednecks” tour on June 7th, Montgomery will have an unaccustomed vantage point: right up on stage.

“I’d say it’s pretty much a fairy tale kind of thing,” says Gary Rossington, founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the only original member still with the band. “I don’t know if none of us can really appreciate what Jimmy Lynn’s goin’ through right now.”

What Jimmy Lynn Montgomery is going through is the heady moment of transformation when a life lived in relative obscurity passes into the spotlight of the public eye. No longer known as “Jimmy Sin,” the Florida wild man famous for his rapid-fire guitar skills and fast-lane lifestyle, Montgomery is making a name for himself as the newest member of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s hallowed guitar trifecta, an exclusive club that doesn’t cast often for replacements. And all this just three months after being plucked from a south-Florida bar band that barely made enough money to put gas in the van or food on the table.

“It’s a funny life. I can’t deny it,” chuckles the guitarist as he greets Lynyrd Skynyrd personnel on his way into a tour rehearsal at the band’s Jacksonville compound. “I’m gonna ride this wave as long as I can.”

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Posted in: Music