Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Rascal Flatts & More Pay Tribute to Troy Gentry at C’Ya on the Flipside Fundraiser

Many artists taking part in the inaugural C'Ya on the Flipside fundraiser -- at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House on Wednesday evening, to profit the Troy Gentry Foundation -- drew on fond reminiscences of the late Gentry’s music and his persona.

Delivering a rough-and-rowdy model of Montgomery Gentry’s 1999 breakthrough hit “Hillbilly Shoes,” Jon Pardi instructed Billboard that listening to the music on the radio was a kind of moments that outlined him.

“I simply keep in mind it was simply so current and highly effective,” he mentioned backstage. “I [also] liked the entire [2002 album] My Town. There have been so many nice and particular songs.”

Pardi was among the many stars paying tribute to Gentry, who died in a helicopter accident on Sept. eight, 2017. Co-hosted by Blake Shelton and Storme Warren, the present additionally included Rascal Flatts, Dierks Bentley, Chris Janson, Jimmie Allen, Lee Brice and Dustin Lynch, amongst others.

Others remembered Gentry’s well-loved humorousness. “I used to be opening up for them -- possibly opening up for one more opener -- and Troy got here on my bus to hang around and say whats up,” remembers Brice. “At the tip of the evening, my keyboard participant comes up [to Troy] and says, ‘It’s so good to see you tonight. What’s your title?' Troy laughed so onerous, and it didn’t damage his ego as a result of he didn’t have one.”

It was that laughter that may ceaselessly be related to Gentry, Brice added. “When I hear his title, I consider smiles, onerous work, perseverance -- he sang about who he was and what he lived. That’s why their music was so constant. You can’t beat that. That’s why they'd all of these followers. They might determine them. When I see his title, I see his smile, and that makes me smile.”

Lynch mentioned lots of his reminiscences of Gentry revolved across the Opry Duck Hunt -- an off-the-cuff annual gathering of Opry members who gathered collectively for a searching journey -- the place the 2 initially struck up an in depth bond.

“That’s the place he and I grew to become conversant in one another,” Lynch says. “We’d have some highly effective conversations in entrance of the lodge, as a result of that was what it was about: getting us collectively on a private degree. We took off down there for the final time about 10 a.m., and he pulled out moonshine and beer cheese he had simply made. That kicked off our journey, and in fantastic trend. We have been feeling fantastic.”

Fellow member Craig Morgan agreed with Lynch’s evaluation of the particular occasions the Opry Duck Hunt supplied with Gentry. “It’s been occurring for properly over 50 years. A variety of occasions we don’t do any deer or duck searching; we simply hang around. It’s actually about that camaraderie, and Troy, fairly actually, had turn into one the important thing cogs within the Hunt. As the followers misplaced him as a buddy, a number of us misplaced him as a person and as an individual. We additionally misplaced him as an integral a part of that Hunt.”

Colt Ford, co-owner of Average Joe’s Entertainment, Montgomery Gentry’s label, mentioned  C-Ya on the Flipside was an emotional night all the way in which round, particularly provided that Eddie Montgomery and Gentry have been among the many first folks Ford met in Nashville. 

“They have been so good to me from day one,” he says. “I’ve by no means been inside [the Grand Ole Opry House] earlier than. So the primary time I get to do it and rejoice one in all my good buddies with a number of my different associates, I’m a little bit nervous, a little bit excited and a little bit scared.” 

Ford mentioned getting the decision that Gentry had died again in 2017 is one thing he'll always remember. “I keep in mind the place I used to be. We had simply completed the brand new [Montgomery Gentry] file possibly a few weeks in the past. I bought the decision lower than 10 minutes after it occurred. Then, I knew that as associates, I needed to make some calls. I referred to as Jamey Johnson and Rhett Akins -- individuals who you'll need somebody that is aware of what's going on to inform them. It’s a tricky state of affairs, however I believe he could be completely satisfied to be up right here and see his buddies doing what they're doing.”

For Gentry’s widow, Angie, “I believed [the evening] was by no means going to get right here really, and now that it’s right here it’s likewise thrilling and it’s bittersweet that we’re going to rejoice him, and he’s not right here.”

Planning the occasion and speaking with fellow artists and followers confirmed her a special facet of her husband. “I suppose I’ve discovered that he touched lots of people and the way they reacted to him,” she says, including that different occasions to offer funding for the Troy Gentry Foundation have been within the works.

That’s music to the ears of Gentry’s musical associate of over twenty years. Eddie Montgomery says that he and Angie are going to hold on Gentry’s title one of the simplest ways they know: Montgomery will proceed to tour and file below the Montgomery Gentry title. “I'm so grateful for Angie, who's going to maintain his legacy alive in Nashville -- and I'll do my greatest to do the identical on the street. It’s been really an important evening,” mentioned the singer, who closed the evening with a crowd sing-along of “My Town.”

The Troy Gentry Foundation will elevate cash for charities that Montgomery Gentry have lengthy supported, resembling The T.J. Martell Foundation. “The indisputable fact that the Troy Gentry Foundation goes to proceed to assist out is so particular,” Lynch says. "What extra are you able to ask for? Music lives on. We don’t….nevertheless it does.”

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