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John Michael Montgomery shifts into high gear with a new album -- and a clean bill of health

Story By David Scarlett -- Photo By Tim Campbell

John Michael Montgomery is settling in behind the wheel of a vintage black Corvette convertible at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky. He's grinning like a kid in a candy store.

"The Corvette is one of the best-looking cars ever made," proclaims John Michael, who's come from his home outside Lexington to satisfy his passion for 'Vettes. "It's one of just a small handful of cars out there that are unique, timeless. There's something special about 'em."

Just like the tunes he's spent the last few months seeking for his new album due this summer.

"I really try hard to find songs like that," he says with a smile, "because they do become classics. I feel like my big hits like 'I Swear' will always be classics. 'I Love The Way You Love Me' and 'I Can Love You Like That' are gonna be classics, too."

While John Michael's new record isn't finished yet, one song that made the final cut is by the writer of "The Little Girl," the moving song that John Michael took to the top of the charts in 2000.

The new tune fits John Michael perfectly.

" 'I Want To Be There' is just a very nice, very touching song -- very country," he explains. "It's about a father watching his daughter be born and being scared to death and going, 'Where do I go from here?' And he starts plotting out the milestones of her life that he doesn't want to miss.

"Anybody who's got kids will definitely relate very strongly to it. Because there's nothing like watching a little baby grow up -- watching it be born, especially."

John Michael speaks from experience. He was there for the births of both of his children -- daughter, Madison, 5, and son, Walker, 3.

Read the rest of what drives John Michael Montgomery's life in the current Newsstand Issue!