Ryan Montbleau Band “Heavy on the Vine” [ALBUM REVIEW]

There are two things you need to know about Ryan Montbleau and Ryan Montbleau Band.  One is they are from my hometown of Boston Massachusetts.  The second is that they are extremely talented and awesome.  Having played roughly 200 or more shows a year since the band started I guess it’s safe to say this is a band of certified road warriors.  Years ago I had the pleasure and honor to tour with this band as their sound guy so I like to think I have an inside scoop on Ryan and his music.  Daily I would hear “get in the van” in reference to joining the band full time which at the time was an amazing and exciting opportunity that I sadly just couldn’t take.  After listening to most recent release “Heavy on the Vine” I knew I had only scratched the surface during my time with the band.  Wether they are performing a reggae song, funk song, blues song, country song, folk song, or rock song as is in the case on “Heavy on the Vine” they are always about the “song” it’s as simple as that.

Songbird – Ryan Montbleau Band

With honest lyrics and an arsenal of styles RMB is a musical force.  They released their first full length record as a band in 2006 to high acclaim even though Ryan has solo releases dating back to ’02.  Last year with their release of “Heavy on the Vine” Ryan and co. got to work with none other than Martin Sexton who is a powerhouse in the singer songwriter realm and beyond.  Not only did Martin produce the record he also took the band on a nationwide tour playing their own shows and also opening for Dave Matthews Band.  Here’s a track called “Love Songs”.  I promise it’s the same band.

Love Songs – Ryan Montbleau Band

Ryan Montbleau Band features Matty Giannaros on upright and electric bass with the Cohen Brothers James and Jason on drums and keys respectively with Yahuba Garcia Torres destroying peoples faces on percussion.  They all destroy peoples faces actually.  Recently the band had a change in the line up.  Laurence Scudder had been a integral part of the band for many years playing viola and now he has gone on to bigger and better things leaving room for Lyle Brewer to step in on guitar filling the void Larry with definitely leave behind.

With a very diverse lineup “Heavy on the Vine” makes its stamp on my musical passport because from song to song the consistency never ceases.  A little instrumental tune like “Hands” carries as much weight as “Carry”, which is arguably Ryan’s best love song since “Boat Song” which appears on their debut release “One Fine Color”.  All the songs not only represent the band in as good a light I have ever seen, but also gives listeners a look into a band that just likes to play music.  Doesn’t matter what style they are playing or listening to or are being inspired by at any given moment they are fans of music, all of it, and it comes through on this record.  This next track is Martin’s favorite on the record and one of my personal favorites.

Carry – Ryan Montbleau Band

I guess I get spoiled sometimes being able to call these guys my friends.  And as you see when you attend their shows across the country wether they are playing to 2000 people in Boston or 200 in god knows where Iowa they are amazing musicians with important music to share.  I honestly want to put the whole record up for you guys to stream, but more importantly want you guys to go out and buy their record HERE and go see them live.

If this band tells you to “get in the van” you better do it even if your mom told you not to get in vans with strangers because what your mom didn’t tell you is that once your in the van you get to hear awesome music.

Ryan Montbleau Band is pretty much always on tour nationwide. Their tour page is HERE and its updated often.

Here’s one last track and video from “Heavy on the Vine.”  It’s Ryan’s favorite…  He might hate me for posting the video, but it starts with a great story of how this tune came about.

More and More and More – Ryan Montbleau Band

By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

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One response to “Ryan Montbleau Band “Heavy on the Vine” [ALBUM REVIEW]

  1. Pingback: Here’s The RUNDOWN (4/9-4/16) [CHARTS] | The Beat-Play Experiment

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