Carol Montag first began singing and performing music at an early age in her hometown church in Ames, IA. She studied piano and flute while in school and learned to play the acoustic guitar by ear while listening to such folk music masters as Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, and Carole King. She graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor of arts degree in graphic design, but never left behind her love of music.
After college, Carol began performing at coffeehouses, colleges, churches, and music festivals throughout the Midwest and Canada. Carol accompanies herself on guitar and piano and has recorded six albums; four solo albums and two Christmas albums with the trio known as Tribute. Carol’s original compositions range from silly to serious with songs about man-in-the-moon nights, babies and dishes, fathers, families, little boys, and Barbie dolls. Concerts include originals, traditional and contemporary folk, and classic songs from The Great American Songbook.
Early in her performance career, Montag was described by folk music legend, Tom Paxton, as “a genuine discovery and the best to come out of Iowa since Bonnie Koloc.” Upon receiving the album Marigolds he described the recording as “…excellent in songwriting style, performance, and production.”
Kennet Oberly, former artistic director of Ballet Iowa, recognized Carol’s songwriting talent and commissioned her to compose music for his ballet titled Swallows Return in the Spring. The commissioned work, which depicted the human tragedy of the farm crisis, was well received by critics. Montag performed live with the company on Iowa Public Television and while on a Midwestern tour.
Carol recently appeared in the Washington, DC area to perform at a gathering of former Iowans who now call Washington home. At this event, known as Iowa Day, Carol was approached by the president of The World Food Prize (and former U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia), Kenneth Quinn, who invited her to perform at the 2010 World Food Prize Laureate Award Ceremony at the Iowa State Capitol. The ceremony was broadcast live by Iowa Public Television. Past performers at The World Food Prize Award Ceremony include such notables as Ray Charles, John Denver, and Simon Estes.
Carol has opened for or shared the stage with Arlo Guthrie, Greg Brown, John Gorka, Larry Groce, Tom Paxton, Kenny Rankin, Three Dog Night, Cliff Eberhardt, John Stewart, and David Wilcox.
“Upon hearing her music I was stunned and couldn’t wait to write about her. Once I even rented a bus and took a bunch of Register reporters and editors on a trip across Iowa tno hear Carol sing at Stone City. Carol has a true gift and is a true Iowa treasure. Her music is powerful, beautiful, harmonic, soulful, and real.” Julie Gammack - The Des Moines Register
“Carol has the voice of an angel. Timeless, transporting, lovely, and evocative... Lyrically wise and uplfting.” Rob Nassif - Theatrical composer
“Carol writes and sings from the heart about places in all our hearts with a golden voice and overtones of servious musical accomplishments. She charmed us, humbled us, and we all made a friend.” -Clay Riness, The Earfood Entertainer
“A singer of new songs written by her for her. Carol is not folk or blues or modern, she cannot be categorized, she must be heard.” - Lloyd Moffit, Burlington Area Arts Council
“Carol has a touch of homespun about her, but she takes the stage like a pro.” - Chuck Mitchell
“Carol has the type of voice that fills one with wonder and awe...you could hear a pin drop!” - The Ogle County Life