Growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, Monte first learned piano and trumpet, and by the beginning of his
adolescence, was an avid listener of pop radio of the 1970’s (today’s classic rock). After moving to Texas at
the age of 12, he took root in the legendary musical town of Luckenbach, where Monte would often skip
school to play guitar under the trees, and spend his days and evenings jamming with local guitar pickers
while hanging out at parlors like Hondo’s General Store. Eventually performing with his mother at her gigs,
then fok singer-songwriter (the charming and locally adored “Magnolia Thunderblossom”) he quickly
absorbed every lick he could. By his mid-teens, Monte was playing gigs on his own around Austin
and San Antonio, both with bands as an electric guitarist and in a variety of acoustic
configurations. At the same time, Monte developed his guitar chops from absorbing
the work of a variety of respected players such as Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey
Buckingham, Mark Knopfler, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Lee, Steve Vai, Steve
Morse and Larry Carlton. "I like it all," he explains of his musical influences.
Leading his own band, Monte began developing his trademark electrified acoustic guitar style. "I started
playing acoustic at the beginning of each set, the response was so overwhelming that I kept the acoustic
up there longer and longer. Then I just started playing all acoustic. I found I could do anything on an acoustic
guitar I could do on an electric if I turned it up loud enough."
In 1993, Monte’s then (longtime) bassist Chris Maresh, while recording bass tracks on a Tony Campise CD
for the Austin, Texas record label Heart Music, introduced Monte to the Heart Music label who soon signed
Monte to a two-album deal, giving Monte his first two (and career best-selling) national CD releases, “1st and
Repair.” (1998) and “Mirror” (1999). After living and playing in San Antonio for a time, and with the heart and
energy coming from promotion from his Austin label, Monte moved residence and set out to make his mark in
the highly competitive Austin musical community. Starting with a $50 half-hour gig at a small Austin Pub on a
Tuesday night, Monte rapidly attracted packed houses and graduated to filling the biggest clubs in the city.