Eddie Montgomery Opens Up About the Pain He's Been Carrying Around for a 'Long Time'

"A lot of us love people and we try to keep our private life our private life, but when you are hurting a bit, that hurt can come through a pencil, and that's when you know you got to let it out," the country singer-songwriter tells PEOPLE

There are a few things Eddie Montgomery doesn't like to talk about.

The country legend that still serves as the unrelenting fire behind Montgomery Gentry doesn't like to talk about the pain he is still going through since losing his bandmate Troy Gentry, who died in a helicopter crash in 2017. He doesn't like to dwell on the despair he feels from losing not one, but two children. And at the end of the day, the man with the big shoulders and the heart that has broken far too many times doesn't like to admit that it all still hurts.

So, he lets his music let a little bit of the hurt out.

"It was hard at first but for some reason, this song eased a little bit of the pain that I've been carrying around for a long time," Montgomery, 58, tells PEOPLE about his new song "My Son" during an interview that happened to take place on the fourth anniversary of Gentry's tragic death. "A lot of us love people and we try to keep our private life our private life, but when you are hurting a bit, that hurt can come through a pencil — and that's when you know you got to let it out. So that's what I did."

Eddie Montgomery
Eddie Montgomery. Michael Gomez

Indeed, while Montgomery originally joined with songwriter Noah Gordan to co-write the song for the movie Old Henry, the song quickly transformed into a far more personal narrative.

"I'm not going to lie to you…I think my sons and T-Roy helped me write this song," says Montgomery of the song, whose music video exclusively premieres on PEOPLE. "They helped me get down to the heart of it, which then went right through my arm and into my hands. It's a song that's very dear to me."

Montgomery says he watched the trailer to the Western when first approached with the project and waded through the script to gain inspiration for the song that would turn into "My Son."

"It reminded me of my dad," Montgomery remembers. "My dad was my hero too. We grew up on a farm and we cut, raised, and housed tobacco and worked in the hay fields. And I'm going to be honest with you…I couldn't wait to get off that farm. We were raised very poor, but we had music. We played music at night. But then as we got older, we couldn't wait to get back on the farm. It's the funniest thing, man. As you get older, you go back to what you were raised on."

RELATED VIDEO: Eddie Montgomery on His CMAs Tribute to Troy Gentry: 'I Wasn't Sure [If] I Could Do It'

Montgomery laughs at the recollection that just might turn into another song.

"I'm telling you, I'm going to write that when I get off the phone," he jokes.

In addition to appearing in the end credits of Old Henry, "My Son" is also set to appear on Montgomery's solo debut album, Ain't No Closing Me Down, set for release on Oct. 29 and being released exclusively at Walmart.

"Working on this album did help me heal some of my heart, and I want to thank my sons and T-Roy for that," explains Montgomery, who reached legendary status with Gentry via chart-topping Montgomery Gentry songs such as "Roll with Me," "Something to Be Proud Of" and "Lucky Man." "I still think my sons and T-Roy helped me write this album. They've made me who I am. I also want to thank the man upstairs, because He gave me the voice to do it, I guess, because I still think I can't sing worth a crap."

Eddie Montgomery
Eddie Montgomery. youtube

He lets out the hearty laugh he has laughed countless times over a career that has spanned over 20 years, and then assures us that the new album has plenty of songs that will raise a ruckus too.

"That's what it's all about, because life is very short, right?" says Montgomery, who is quick to note that his wife of seven years Jennifer has a lot to do with the kaleidoscope of music he's putting out these days. "And I'm going to live every second of it. I'm going to be that guy. You know, you always hear people talking at the end of their life, saying about all the things they wished they did. Well, I'm going to be the guy at the end of my time that will be talking about how I did everything, but maybe I shouldn't have done that one."

Eddie Montgomery
Eddie Montgomery.

He laughs, and then grows quiet.

"That's who I have always been, and T-Roy was right beside me on that," Montgomery adds. "That's how we lived our life. And that's what we told our kids. We wanted our kids to live their life, because you know, this is the greatest country in the world. We can dream as big as we want to in the U.S. We are Americans and we are allowed to dream, and this country allows us dream as big as we want."

And Montgomery isn't done dreaming yet.

"He's got a vision for me and so that's what I'm doing," he says, referring to the man upstairs once again. "Apparently he's got something left for me to do."

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