Ryan Montbleau Band
The music of the Ryan Montbleau Band is as warm and invigorating as sunshine breaking through on a cloudy day. The quintet has been a Vibes mainstay for eight years, and it’s soulful, acoustic roots rock and Americana is powered by the driving rhythms of percussionist Yahuba Garcia-Torres, drummer James Cohen and bassist Matt Giannaros, while keyboardist Jason Cohen and guitarist Lyle Brewer add dynamic harmonies.
For more than 10 years, this gifted singer and tight five piece backing band have built their catalog the old-fashioned way, by introducing new songs to their live set, including many songs played for the first time on the Vibes’ stages over the years, then bending and shaping them over dozens of performances before committing a definitive version to the hard drive.
His most recent studio recording is a departure from what he’s done on past recordings however. On For Higher, the Boston based musician threw himself into New Orleans, where everything is slow-cooked, for a few fast-moving days — and whipped up an instant delicacy, a funky, R&B influenced solo album. It was a feel thing, with Montbleau putting heads together with fellow musician Ben Ellman of New Orleans flag-bearers Galactic working behind the soundboard and bringing in some of the city’s most renowned musicians to act as a backing band.
Far from feeling left out of the New Orleans sessions, his band his band feeds on the arrangements from the new album in their live sets. When the crowds are dancing, the band digs deeper in the pocket. But Montbleau, who still performs solo occasionally, is constantly looking to strike a balance between the contagious energy of moving bodies and making a closer connection. And the RMB has certainly made a heartfelt connection with The Vibe Tribe and we’re happy to bring the band back again this year.