John Michael Montgomery with flag guitar and lead gitarist Caleb Adam at Roanoke Island Festival Park.

One of the best places imaginable to catch an outdoor concert is the Outdoor Pavilion at  Roanoke Roanoke Island Festival Park. On a summer evening with a breeze blowing off Roanoke Sound . . . it doesn’t get much better than that.

Throw in a great concert from longtime country western star John Michael Montgomery, include a couple of truly outstanding bands to kick things off, and all the pieces are in place for a memorable evening of music.

John Michael Montgomery’s was playing honky tonks and and dive bars about the time he introduced his first hit, Life’s a Dance, and since that first song hit #1 on the charts, he’s had a solid run of chart topping ballads. There have also been a few songs that bring back memories of his honky tonk days like Hello L-O-V-E and Be My Baby. Both songs features some great guitar work and a driving beat that would have been perfect for any dive bar.

But Montgomery is best known for his ballads and he brought a huge selection of his classics with him— Letters from Home and I Can Love You Like That seemed to touch the crowd.

As good as Montgomery was Flatt Lonesome may have been even better. Mostly bluegrass—that’s there background and instruments, they took their music into places bluegrass almost never goes, showing a diversity of sound and musical arrangement that really set them apart. 

According to Cory Hemilright, the promoter for the evening of music, Flatt Lonesome will be back for the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival September 21-24.