Words by: Jillian Horn | Images by: Carl Daniel
Ryan Montbleau Band :: 12.20.08 :: Paradise Rock Club :: Boston, MA
Fresh off a successful solo gig opening for Martin Sexton, Ryan Montbleau reunited with his band for two hometown performances at the Paradise Rock Club. The Boston-based band rocked the packed house for back-to-back nights filled with their amicable sound. It was evident that the hiatus served the band well, and fans were fortunate to see Montbleau preview some fresh material written on his solo journey. With a little help from his friends (including opener Josh Dion and veteran Boston-performer Johnny Trama), Montbleau effortlessly displayed his ability to capture an audience as he returned home with force.
Warm tunes like "75 and Sunny" and "The Boat Song" allowed the crowd to forget about the snowstorm pounding outside the Paradise doors, and transported them to the better times of summer festivals and sunshine. Diving head first into their commanding sound - a cornucopia of folk, soul, ragtime, and funk - it was clear that the band was thrilled to be playing their home turf.
In true RMB fashion, the group mixed things up, switching between electric and acoustic tracks, allowing the different strengths of the band to be evenly showcased. The boisterous instrumentation (consisting of guitar, percussion, keyboards, bass and viola) harmoniously fused as a true cacophony of carefree rhythm. Together the group demonstrated true professionalism and control of each sound set forth, balanced refreshingly with a laid-back, breezy tone.
Mid-set, the band handed things over to a solo Montbleau, where he shared anecdotes of his time spent traveling the country with Sexton, constantly pinching himself as he worked through his "little fish in a big pond" emotions. His success is rightfully deserved, and the former substitute teacher has certainly paid his dues. Playing over 200 shows a year, the band has been touring primarily on the East Coast since their debut in 2002, with some recent West Coast gigs at summer festivals. After four albums, the latest (Patience on Friday) arriving in 2007, it seems new material may be waiting just around the corner.
|Ryan Montbleau Band :: 12.20 :: Boston|
After a performance that explored RMB favorites old and new, the night ended with the groups' stellar cover of Rose Royce's "Car Wash," causing the audience to erupt into a two-step, funky dance explosion. Even with the expansion of the recent solo Montbleau gigs bringing forth many spectacular opportunities, it is with his band that an unrivaled sense of natural accuracy and magic can be found. The sincerity remains familial and unwavering, and their future shines brightly. No matter where or for whom they play, they remain humble New England guys, just happy to share their craft.
Ryan Montbleau Band tour dates available here.
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