Ryan Montbleau

Ryan Montbleau

BandBluesAcoustic

2 Things: A jaw-dropping solo performer, as well as the front man of his own six-piece band. From blues-based fire, to folk, to Americana roots, to funky jam, every note is marinated in pure soul. Think Stevie Wonder meets Paul Simon. No, REALLY.

Biography

When the Ryan Montbleau Band sold out Boston’s 600 capacity Paradise Rock Club in November of 2004, it was a watermark of achievement for the 27-year-old singer-songwriter and his band. His first words to the raging crowd (and unfortunately not the 200 that got shut outside in the rain): “I used to play at TGI Friday’s.” He was telling the truth.

Ryan Montbleau graduated from Villanova University in 1999 and came to the realization that music might very well be his calling in life. A late bloomer, his college years had been spent studying poetry, playing guitar for hours and hours a day, and just barely beginning to let out the singing voice he had always carried in his head. It took a few years after college of grabbing any gig he could get – coffeehouses, hippie-juice joints, sports bars, the streets of Harvard Square, dives opening for metal bands, you name it - but five years later Ryan has emerged as a full-blown, full-time artist and a performer with a big bright future ahead.

The sound is one of pure soul-searching wonder. First and foremost, Ryan has established himself as a solo-acoustic performer unlike any other. With a finger-picking style that has been compared to Leo Kottke and Ani DiFranco, soul-folk songwriting skills in the tradition of Martin Sexton, and a singing voice constantly compared to Stevie Wonder, there is clearly an abundance of talent here. Montbleau hopes that there is also a balance of what he calls the “holy trinity” of a singer/songwriter’s craft: guitar, voice, and words. It’s hard to criticize any one of those elements in the songs of Ryan Montbleau.

Slowly but surely, Ryan has also built up a 6-piece band, aptly titled the Ryan Montbleau Band. Much more than a solo artist and a collection of side players, this is very truly a band and takes on a life of it’s own. With drums, upright bass, keys, sax, viola and guitar, the sound ranges from an old-time American jug band, to a funk-crazy jam band, to a smoothed out soul outfit.

Repeating the sellout of the Paradise in March of 2005, Ryan Montbleau and his band have also been hitting the road: HARD. With 196 shows under his belt in 2004, he appears to be on pace for even more this year. From Maine, to Georgia, to Chicago and St. Louis, and just about everywhere in between, crowds are continually growing and word seems to be spreading exponentially. Ryan now sells out rooms all over the northeast, and other regions of the country are very much on the way.

From TGI Friday’s to The Paradise and the Bowery Ballroom, Ryan Montbleau has indeed been picking up momentum over the last few years. Fortunately at this point, he shows absolutely no signs of slowing down.

Lyrics

Already There

Written By: Ryan Montbleau

Dream on, dream on as I may
I get a little closer every day
To what I think it should be.
I drive a little bit futher, further
A little further down the road.

And worry, worry as I may,
I get a little further away,
From what I think it should be.
I drive a little bit further,
From where I stopped along the road.

Another mile or two,
I’ll be back in good graces.
Pristine view of that golden valley below.
Another mile or two, I know it won’t be long until I get there.
Lord, can you give me,
Another mile or two.

Already there.
But I’m still striving,
Driving down an endless highway
Still looking to get there.
And I know not what, but I’ll know it when I see it,
A little further down the road.

Shuffling Paper

Written By: Ryan Montbleau

Darkness
Radio Blaring
BEEP BEEP
Find the strength to get up and feel around.
Slippers in the same place, cold tiles staring.
Water hits the face and I can see now.
Grey coat, blue tie,
Staring at the back of a van.
Same road, same ride,
With the traffic backed up again.
Ain’t no site of the sunshine yet,
Only looking forward to later.
Maybe I can dream in the afternoon,
But as for right now it’s time
For shuffling paper.

Paper-clip yuk-yuk, cheap conversation.
None of these people I wouldn’t call my peers.
Staring at the coffee pot
Staring at the digital clock,
Seven more hours of this.

Cubicle next to me says “Hi,”
Every now and again.
Can’t think of nothing more exciting than a closet full of pencils and pens
Can’t think of nothing more stimulating than a neon light and a stapler
I swear if I didn’t have to pay my bills,
I wouldn’t have to be here
Cold shuffling paper.
Shuffling paper.

You can kiss my assets goodbye.
You’re a liability to my way of life.
I’m insured but I have no assurance
That what I do here makes any bit of difference….
Besides shuffling paper.
Shuffling paper.

Pleasurefields

Written By: Ryan Montbleau

Quiet, auburn, oaken chest
Cherry tobaccan and nightworn--
The leaves are at their ripest.
Wool-knit and fire-warmed
Brisk is somewhere near.
But for now, just a hazy, ever-burning maze of red ash will flush us clear.

In it.
Within it.
Waves pass through, but understanding that you’re there.

And in a rush of airiness,
Lightly hammered into shape,
Frozen amber thawed and stewed in crusted September bake,
And comes the sunshine
Honey haze
Maze of Eon in a day of days

A comfort in each air
Nothing rotten, not yet bare.
In it.
Within it.
Waves pass through, but understanding that you’re there.

There in that honeysuckle glow,
You’d swear you saw it,
You’d swear you’d known,
Whether yellow-feathered cottontail,
Or bluebird singing sigh,
You’d touched the air with tongue,
Taste of sun,
Touch of sky.

It's All Been Done Before

Written By: Ryan Montbleau

He was the son of a loving business man,
Young days filled with affluent affection.
Late nights all alone, walking along those suburban roads,
Searching for some cosmic connection.

And as he walked those tree-lined roads,
He would swear himself a sacred oath
To always reach up endless toward the sky.
Walking through the midnight dew
He would curse the lack of something new
And he’d stare up at the sky and wonder why…

Why it’s all been done before
And so it will again.
“Nothing new left for me to do,” he said.
And it’s all been done before
It’s all been tried and true and said,
There must be something somewhere out there someone left.

She was the daughter of a military man,
Each year marked by a different direction.
Seasons spent in the solitude of some transitory plan
Running from any constant connection.

And just as she might settle in
The orders came to leave again
And she’d stare down at the ground and refuse to cry.
Bags packed and off to go
She would swear herself a silent oath
To someday stay in one place just for a while…

Because it’s all been done before
And so it will again.
“Nothing new is ever new,” she said.
And it’s all been done before,
It’s all been tried and true and said,
And it makes no bit of difference in the end.

They met on a moonlit night when the evergreens were waving
Ever so slightly in that misty western wind.
He walked along his usual path
And she sat upon her brand-new, old fence
And through the haze of the streetlight their eyes met.
Their eyes met…
Their eyes met…
And then they started up a conversation,
Just a simple little conversation
And that was it.

And though it seemed like endless nights and days
It did not take long for him to say,
”You’re the one for me, I’ll buy you a diamond ring.
And together we will see the world,
Walk every inch upon this earth,
We will climb the highest mountains,
Sail the shining seas,
Do everything.”

And she said,
”No, it’s all been done before.
Worry not your head.
Me and you is something new,” she said.
And it’s all been done before,
It’s all been tried and true and said,
“I want you, not something new,” is what she said.

And he lifted up his head,
Looked her in the eye,
And said, “I think I understand
For the first time in my life.
That it’s all been done before.
And it’s all been done before.
Ain’t it beautiful
It’s all been done before.”

Variety

Written By: Ryan Montbleau

I should be happy
Prime of my life
Singular wild and free.
Nothing out of the ordinary.

But I still want to be everything,
Have you every wanted to be everything?
Sometimes the dreaming gets so overwhelming.
So many places, so many places.

Take me down to the ocean to the ever-lapping shore
Fly me high in the mountains, where it’s all one open door.
Drive me into the city where the crazies come out at night
And I’ll be one of them, I’ll be one of them this time.

I should be willing,
I should be down for the adventure
Standing up and stabbing westward
On and along the trail.
Pick up my things and bail.

But there’s so much unfinished,
So much open-ended business
And sadness and pleasure so close together
I can’t seem to tell the difference.
Better take it all, I guess.

Give me Friday night apartments with red-faced tears of laughter.
Jumping up and down, drinking happy ever-after
Build a wall of good people and you can’t beat a young man’s pride
So I’ll be one of them, I’ll be one of them this time.

Open my eyes and make me wonder,
Show me all there is to see.
Give me music and more people
Dirty magazines and poetry.
Give me variety in all its forms,
Give me everything, then give me more and more and more.
Give me something I can taste, that I can see,
That I can feel, that I can be.
Variety.
Variety.
Variety.
Variety won’t bring her back to me.

I should be happy,
Prime of my life.
Single and wild and far from free.
And bound by all this variety.
And now there’s too much of everything,
Did I ever really want to be everything?
And now the memories are so overwhelming:
So many places
So many places where she used to be.

Honeymoon Eyes

Written By: Ryan Montbleau

Tell me your number.
Tell me your name.
Tell me your shoe size, little darling,
You can tell me anything,
Just don’t tell me, tell me, tell me
You’ve got better things to do.
I’m talking ‘bout long walks in the sunshine,
I’m talking ‘bout loving you.

Tell me that I’m
Out of my mind for trying.
Tell me to save my two cents
For another dollar-girl to be denying.
Just don’t tell me, tell me, tell me
You’ve got better things to do.
I’m talking ‘bout nothing short of spectacular, honey,
I’m talking ‘bout loving you.

From the very first moment
That I laid my eyes upon you, now,
The sunshine of life came rolling,
Rolling into view.
Bet another dollar I can make my two cents sound more crazy
But I do believe I’m falling in love
With every inch and every mannerism of you.

Little flip of your hair.
And the shape of your feet.
And the way you’re looking at me sideways
As we’re walking down the street.
I think I like to love to hate to leave you
Need you, want to squeeze you all the time.
Paint me pink with polka-dots, honey,
And take a look at my heart-shaped honeymoon eyes.

Tell me your number.
Tell me your name.
Tell me your favorite color, little darling,
You can tell me anything.
Just don’t tell me, tell me, tell me,
You’ve got better things to do.
I’m talking ‘bout long walks in the sunshine,
Long walks in the moonshine
Take another step and you’re all mine,
I’m talking ‘bout loving you.
Loving you.
Loving you

Discography

Stages (2003)
All solo-acoustic and all live (with one bonus studio track), this second offering from Mr. Montbleau takes you right inside the room for one of his blistering solo performances. Recorded during a six-week period in the spring of 2003, the rooms range from a smoky pub, to a small coffehouse, to a large theatre. Enjoy the show.

Begin. (2002)
This debut full-length release includes everything from stripped-down solo acoustic tracks (including one a capella) to meaty full-band productions. From blues to ballads, folk to rootsy R&B, here is disc numero uno from Ryan Montbleau. Let it Begin.

**In addition to these official releases, Ryan Montbleau has also put out several collections of live recordings over the last two years, including: The Moonshine Compilation, The Friend's of Mine Compilation, and Live at the Living Room.

Set List

Ryan has been known to play anywhere and everywhere in the past, and can perform solo-acoustic, full-fleged 6-piece band, or any combination of players in between. Normally the band tours as a quartet (drums, keys, upright bass, guitar).

An ideal set is one-hour for a solo-show, and includes all originals with a cover thrown in for good measure. Typical covers include forgotten sixties favorites like "(What a Day for a) Daydream" and "Spookie." Paul Simon, the Beatles, and old Blues standards are also favorites.

And ideal band show is two sets of anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes each. This is also almost all original, with a few covers thrown in, including Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, Paul Simon, and many more.

Staple originals have turned out to be:

Variety
Shuffling Paper
Inspired by No One
Already There
Just Perfect
Stretch
Honeymoon Eyes
You Crazy You

Ryan rarely uses a set list, however, and prefers to feel out each and evey room as he goes. "S