Randy Montana – “Ain’t Much Left Of Lovin’ You”

Karlie Justus | March 18th, 2010

randy-montana-aint-much-left-of-loving-youSongwriters: Randy Montana and Josh Ragsdale.

In a landscape of predictable country radio formulas, newcomer Randy Montana offers up a surprising recipe for success: One part The Wallflowers, two parts Music Row legacy and a dash of George Jones. This unlikely combination works together to form “Ain’t Much Left of Lovin’ You,” Montana’s first single off his self-titled debut album.

The song pairs the dark, driving edge Jakob Dylan mastered at the helm of 90s rock group The Wallflowers with lyrics that closely mirror Jones’ “The Grand Tour” in theme, if not in weight and emotional impact. Montana references these elements without sacrificing his own style, one honed from father Billy Montana’s line of hit songs, including Garth Brooks’ “More Than a Memory,” Sara Evans’ “Suds in the Bucket” and Grammy-nominated Jo Dee Messina tune “Bring on the Rain.”

The younger Montana, who earned a publishing deal with Sony Music in 2008 before signing with Mercury Nashville, sets up “Ain’t Much Left of Lovin’ You” by focusing on the sights, smells and textiles of a break-up’s aftermath. Montana even considers a Jamey Johnson-esque “Mowing Down the Roses” act of desperation when it comes to his former lover’s flowers that remain in his front yard.

All of these remaining possessions, however, only serve to make what she took all the more painful. Its title and chorus turn an interesting, made-you-listen phrase that highlights how the dresses, flowers and perfume-tinged unmentionables remind him of all he’s really left with: ”The heaven we had/The hell that I’m going through/Other than that, there ain’t much left of lovin’ you.”

While Montana’s raspy voice and the song’s rock-leaning edge service its jaded, regret-filled tone, the song falls short when compared to more successful post-separation real estate surveys such as the aforementioned “The Grand Tour.” It may be unfair to compare Montana and “Ain’t Much Left of Lovin’ You” to one of the genre’s best storytellers and one of his most heartbreaking songs, but the correlation only highlights the mileage Montana must still put in to round out his emotional connection to his material.

The Albany, N.Y. native’s indie, singer-songwriter vibe may cost him points on country radio, but the narrow slot David Nail pushed open in 2009 with his own debut single leaves a niche for “Ain’t Much Left of Lovin’ You.” Like Nail’s “At a Red Light,” Montana’s first offering suffers from a lack of polish and follow-through, but shares the promise of an authentic country newcomer who is up for showing–and, more importantly, sustaining–his unique point of view.

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Listen: Randy Montana – “Ain’t Much Left Of Lovin’ You”

  1. Pierce
    March 18, 2010 at 9:16 am

    This dude was getting huge buzz at CRS and his acoustic performance at the UMG luncheon was legit.

    Unfortunately, then came the recording of the song. Montana’s solo adaption of the song was 10x better than this distracting production.

    The potential is there, but yet again, it’s being drowned out by heavy production… lame!

  2. Thomas
    March 18, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    …i quite like this song but i wouldn’t spend my country-dollar on it. it’s another of those hybrids that don’t quite speak to a country-fan nor to a pop-fan. the guitars, indeed, weigh quite heavy on it in an unnecessary way. to good to be dismissed but not strong enough to go all the way.

  3. Rick
    March 18, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    I agree about this song sounding like a hybrid. It makes me think of that “Texas Regional” sound due to the guitar sound and production while it hints and Lady Antebellum’s power pop sensibilities. Its a decent song and I think it would do well in the Americana realm and down in Texas. As for Top 40 AirHead Country Radio, I don’t have a clue…

  4. Stewman
    March 19, 2010 at 10:44 am

    JOsh Ragsdale is one of those guys who definitely deserves a major 2nd chance. Very talented guy, whom i believe is battling Leukemia. He had a duet with his sister a few years back which was just killer. Glad to see him still writing

  5. Jon G.
    May 21, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Irrelevant, but the David Nail song is simply called “Red Light,” not “At a Red Light.”

    Just heard this song on a big mainstream country station. I don’t know if that means it had a shot at being a hit, but it was encouraged by it.

    I like the song. It’s not great, but it’s more than alright. I’d like to hear more from this guy.

  6. Nancy
    September 20, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I absolutely love the sound that Randy is bringing to ccountry music. The first time I heard this song, it most definately spoke to me. He has that Tom Petty gravel type voice that flows from one word to the next. I believe the song was well written and the album is a great debut album. Looking forward to hearing much more from Randy as well as his co-writer Josh Ragsdale. They very much work great together, very talented. As for Josh, I hate to hear that anyone,regardless of what they do, is fighting Leukemia.It’s not irrelevant. To be able to take your mind and allow it to flow free and create a piece of art like he did is remarkable as well as impressive. Congrats on a new album Randy and congrats to the guys for such a great song!

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