Ryan Montbleau Band | 06.30.07 | Boston

Words & Images by: Bill Clifford

Ryan Montbleau Band :: 6.30.07 :: Rock And Blues Concert Cruise :: Boston, MA

What if we were in the same boat
Rolling to the same beat, listening to each other
No eyes for another, no need to ever look away
What if we could stay together
And simply move on day after day after day
Sun and stormy weather, you and I together
Moving on always

From "The Boat Song" off Ryan Montbleau's One Fine Color

Ryan Montbleau Band :: 06.30 :: Boston
The Ryan Montbleau Band began its most recent tour– which took them through Boulder and Utah on the way to High Sierra then back east again – right at home in Boston Mass on the Rock And Blues Concert Cruise. Well before the departure time of 6 p.m., hometown fans lined up on the Boston Harbor to stake their place on the tiny boat. The first cruise sold out so quickly a second outing later in the evening was added. On a beautiful and sunny, breezy and warm New England evening, the band had over 900 people dancing and singing on the Atlantic Ocean.

The band – comprised of brothers James and Jason Cohen on drums and keys, respectively, plus Matt Gianarros (electric and stand-up bass), Laurence "Larry" Scudder (viola) and the latest addition to the band, Yahuba Garcia (percussion) - has been tearing up the East Coast for the last few years, but has only just begun to tour nationally beyond the Northeast. The full schedule for this summer tour includes several high profile festival gigs as well as several new regions. Certainly, the band's reputation is deservedly growing.

Ryan Montbleau Band :: 06.30 :: Boston
"Boy Bleau" opened the show with the title track to his last studio recording, One Fine Color. Without any kind of introduction, the young troubadour found his usual seat on a barstool and began a funky, jazzy slow groove, which smoothly transitioned its way into the song. Montbleau is cut from the same cloth as John Mayer. But where Mayer's strength lies in his searing blues guitar, Montbleau sets himself apart with soul and gusto. He's a passionate performer, his eyelids slowly rolling shut as he eloquently croons his way into the hearts of his audience.

Montbleau picked up the tempo on "A Little Bit," then broke it down mid-song to add some kind words to the crowd. "I only have two rules tonight. Number one is to stay on the boat. And the second is to be nice to everyone," he said, inspiring a rousing cheer. "Make some noise if you're here to have a good time." Other than a few thanks, it was about all he had to say between songs, and it was apparent that a long week in the studio had finally caught up to him.

Ryan Montbleau Band :: 06.30 :: Boston
Montbleau played a brand new song, "Stay," for a first time. It was one of several new tracks that haven't even been recorded yet, and according to Montbleau, "Stay" wasn't scheduled to make it on their upcoming release. Judging by the crowd's enthusiastic response that may change. He truly felt the words of this road song, singing passionately, "Home, what does it mean any more? Is it the place where I was born? Is it the place where I stay?" Later, he had the crowd, a majority of which was young women, singing fervently along on several favorites including "Stretch" and the unreleased "Grain of Sand."

Early in the second set the captain turned the boat around and rode into the sunset, which rocked the boat and brought a cheer. The upbeat, fast tempo of "Eggs" had us dancing enigmatically, and the aforementioned "The Boat Song," while slow in tempo, none-the-less had the whole crowd singing along. As the Rocks and Blues Cruise pulled back into Boston Harbor, Montbleau closed the evening with a live staple, a hauntingly stirring a cappella take on loss of innocence. His eloquent delivery and sultry voice more than made up for the song's dour themes, and the crowd happily shuffled out in the early Boston evening.

JamBase | Boston
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[Published on: 7/19/07]

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Chaloupka starstarstarstar Sat 7/21/2007 12:46PM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


I just saw them in Denver on July 11, and they were really good! The dude's voice reminds me of Stevie Wonder.

deadtoolhead starstarstarstarstar Sat 7/21/2007 03:21PM
+4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

montbleau band is funky & soulmatic...dig it!!!

nfenne starstarstarstar Mon 7/23/2007 06:40AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


I saw these guys open up for another band and they knocked my socks off. Well worth checking out!

pinkishladybug starstarstarstar Mon 7/23/2007 08:27AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


They need a bigger boat next year!
But what a good time!

richromeo Mon 7/23/2007 11:00AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

These guys may have been my favorite act at All Good this year despite having their set split in two around Grace Potter's. Never saw them before, will surely be seeing them again....

avalongirl07 starstarstarstar Mon 7/23/2007 03:15PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

This is one of my new favorite bands of 2007. Their music has a timeless, almost ragtime feel to it - it's classic, yet fresh.
More importantly are the lyrics, they are intelligent and full of wonderment - it just feels right! You would be a fool to miss one of their shows.

OaksterDan starstarstarstarstar Mon 7/23/2007 07:05PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


I just saw these guys @ High Sierra for the first time. Did't realize they were from Massachusetts (Home). They played around noon on sunday and opened with a Johnny Cash cover "Sunday Morning Comin' Down (Wishin' I was Stoned)" it was sweet. They played that cover at Sunday River on St. Patrick's day as well. I liked songs "It's all been done before", "Boat song", "75 & Sunny", "Grain of Sand" & "Draw the line". Want to see more of this band. Go see ALO, I've seen them 5 times in last year and there FUNK is blowing up the west coast. Brett Dennen for you singer/Songwriters is good too.

guitardave starstarstarstar Thu 7/26/2007 07:05AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Look at all the chicks in the front. This guy is goanna be HUGE. The next Mayer/Matthews