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Angel From Montgomery: Introduction


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Angel From Montgomery

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"Angel From Montgomery" is a modern country blues standard. There are countless covers of this song (I’ve been playing it for years) which is a strong indicator of the universal quality that a truly classic song holds. it has the type of lyric that could fit any singer of any age, and it has a harmonic structure that is simple yet distinctive, and like many standards, can be interpreted in countless ways by countless artists.

We’ll only need about 5 easy chords, and we’ll be using our capo on the 2nd fret. more about our capo later! This song has a very straight forward structure, pretty much 3 verses and 3 choruses.

We’ll be getting out our counting chops for the intro/interlude, which uses a cool syncopated count that provides a musical theme, to be used as intro and between the chorus and the verse as an interlude.

For the verse there’s a straighter groove that results creates a big loose playing field for the main star of this song, the vocal. We’ll contemplate the importance of committing to "the groove" and how playing it repeatedly and exactly right serves the whole song. The big challenge here is learning to generate the groove independent of your vocal.

We'll also take a look at the chorus, noting how the chord changes and the shift to a fuller strum have an uplifting effect in the song. The chord structure is repetitive, but now we are playing more steadily, which drives the chorus, and creates pacing in the arc of the song. we’ll also take a look at how to transition from the chorus back into the funkier, syncopated, interlude feel that follows and then transitions back into the next verse.

The thing that ultimately makes a song like this interesting is the ongoing possibility for subtle variations on the theme. once you can play the groove on auto pilot you can begin to add simple yet distinct licks that decorate the space you’ve carved out with your cool timing. when things get really good you’ll be able to kick a funky groove, sing a soulful vocal, and have the presence of mind to throw in a little decoration around the edges. This is a GREAT song to work on your timing and independence skills!

intro 4 bars
verse 8 bars
chorus 8 bars
interlude 2 bars
interlude 4 bars