Ryan Montbleau Band with special guest Driftwood – Tickets – Rams Head On Stage – Annapolis, MD – May 3rd, 2018

Ryan Montbleau Band with special guest Driftwood

Ryan Montbleau Band with special guest Driftwood

Thu, May 3, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Rams Head On Stage

Annapolis, MD

$22.50

This event is 21 and over

Ryan Montbleau Band
Ryan Montbleau Band
Ryan Montbleau has been an acclaimed singer, songwriter, and bandleader for more than a decade, but with his new album, I Was Just Leaving, the New England-based artist has truly arrived. Contemplative and richly emotive, the album offers a glimpse into the often-lonesome life of the relentlessly traveling troubadour, a strikingly single-minded existence too often clouded by the blur of constant motion. Recorded at New Orleans’ Esplanade Studios over four days in January 2016 with producer Anders Osborne and engineer/mixer Mark Howard (known for his work with such icons as Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Neil Young, and U2), the album marks Montbleau’s first full length release in the wake of a series of seismic personal shifts. Songs like “Bright Side” and the touching title track reveal a uniquely blessed artist who has truly found his voice, his gift for melody and a remarkably open-armed approach.

“There’s no part of this record that I am unsure of,” Montbleau says. “All the juice of the last fifteen years is in there. My humanity and my heart are on this record.”

Montbleau has been among America’s finest songwriters and performers, earning national attention and a fervent fan following with songs like “75 and Sunny” and his breakthrough cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” the latter a Spotify smash with total streams now in excess of 14 million.

After twelve years on the road Montbleau found himself at a crossroads in 2016. “Within a very short time, my world got flipped around. My partner was gone, my band of ten years was gone, my friends were all far away. The one thing I had was a career, because it turns out that was all I had worked on. When the dust settled, I realized I didn’t really have much of a home life.”

“I thought all along that I had been building a home but it turned out I was just leaving. That’s where the title of the song and the record came from. So many raw feelings were just aching through me at that point. Eventually they vibrated out through the guitar, through singing. I had to sing these songs.”

An artist’s artist, Montbleau has collaborated with such diverse performers as Martin Sexton, Trombone Shorty, and Galactic. His association with Anders Osborne extends back to 2012 when the New Orleans-based singer/songwriter/guitarist played on Ryan’s Ben Ellman-produced FOR HIGHER alongside such fellow Big Easy icons as Ivan Neville and The Meters’ George Porter, Jr. Two years later, Anders and Ryan reconnected on the road backstage at a festival. The seeds were planted for a collaboration.

Montbleau’s guitar playing and vocals are both front and center on I Was Just Leaving, with Osborne accompanying on drums, percussion, bass, guitar, and harmonica, each used simply and sparsely for maximum effect. Osborne and Howard built upon that same goal, creating space and capturing rawness by utilizing as many early takes as possible.

“Bright Side,” the album’s first single, is perhaps the song most emblematic of Montbleau’s growth as both a human being and artist. At once finely etched and strikingly direct, “Bright Side” is an ideal distillation of his approach to songwriting, balancing multiple shades of emotional nuance with a fearless, unfettered sentimentality that ultimately leads to a greater truth.

I Was Just Leaving marks a singular milestone for Ryan Montbleau, the moment in which this exceptional singer, songwriter, and performer has blossomed into a fully matured artist.

“I’ve been planting these seeds for so long and it has all led up to this moment. It feels like finally the fruits of all my efforts are coming out. I’m still working hard but there’s an ease to what’s happening. I have a career that I’ve built, that I’ve earned. Now what’s fun is putting out the best music I can and seeing what happens.”
Driftwood
Driftwood
When Driftwood released its first full-length album, Rally Day, recorded in their hometown of Binghamton, a unique sound transpired that reflected not only the working-class ethos of an upstate New York town, but a coalescing of identity, influence, and uninhibited musical spirit.

“It’s sometimes tough to keep any sort of focus on style or sound when you have three different songwriters,” guitarist Dan Forsyth conceded. Longtime friend and banjoist Joe Kollar offers, “I consider our sound to be more of an attitude and an approach – the result of all of our influences in a completely open musical forum where the only stipulation is to create it from the heart.” “Really Driftwood is a song based group,” fiddler Claire Byrne added incisively.

And even though they come from different directions, the three founding members – along with bassist Joey Arcuri – tend to end up at the same place.

That unity, as well as the joy derived from playing together, can be heard throughout City Lights. It takes them on a familiar road and serendipitous evolution, replete with folk, old-time, country, punk, and rock, depending on their personal moods and their songs’ needs.

Increased songwriting and close-quarter living on tour manifested strengthened relationships and new energy. “Keeping this kind of touring schedule, we thought of recording albums as a sort of secondary thing and considered ourselves a ‘live’ band. We learn so much on the road and this kind of work has always felt productive,” Forsyth explains.

And while in the past they used the stage to work out arrangements of new songs, for City Lights, they used the studio. “It wasn’t until this last album that we took some time off to learn more about being in the studio. We wanted to take our time and record on our own terms.”

As evidence of their growth and compatibility, both Forsyth and Byrne tag “Skin and Bone” as the head of the album. It’s a Kollar composition that he says “came from a reflection I had of myself and life on the road, in general. It touches on trying to keep perspective, forging ahead, and embracing the future.” Clearly, that’s a state of mind they can all relate to.

The heart of the album, though, is a toss up with Forsyth choosing the romance of “Too Afraid,” Byrne picking the nostalgia of “The Waves,” and Kollar tapping the excitement of the title track. That disparity may be because, in their decade together, the musicians have all undergone monumental life changes. They have come into their own… together. “Generally speaking, there’s a maturity to us now,” Kollar explains. “We have a bit of experience doing what we do and the music reflects that point of view. The song subjects, our playing/singing abilities, our recording abilities, and our relationships have all matured.”

That’s precisely what’s heard in the music. A sharpened band. Skilled songwriters. Down-right masterful instrumentalists. And the sum of their seasons together has only strengthened their fabric. It’s pretty clear in their current songwriting and recordings as well, as Driftwood is now laying the groundwork for an upcoming album set to be released in the Spring of 2018. If history is any indication, it will be another strong step forward for this talented group.
Venue Information:
Rams Head On Stage
33 West St.
Annapolis, MD, 21401
http://www.ramsheadonstage.com/

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.