After seeing Ryan Montbleau open for Martin Sexton last year, I became a fan. I bought his band’s last two albums, Patience on Friday and One Fine Color, and listened to them somewhat regularly. I followed his MySpace blog. (Although really, Ryan, make the move to WordPress that you were considering! Don’t make me associate with MySpace.)
It has been interesting to follow updates about life on the road for a good band that’s not quite there yet. That hasn’t quite broken through. But they’re talented, working hard at it, and gathering a following. The Sexton tour was a big boost, I’m sure. I started feeling invested in the band, and when they finally headed west with a stop in Minneapolis this month, I wanted to see the show.
Although… I dithered. It was on a Tuesday night, when I had to get up by 4:30am the next day. And… Oh, who am I kidding: on any given night I prefer to be at home. I hadn’t managed to line up anyone else to go, so was going solo, which made it easier to consider just ditching the whole thing.
While I had become a fan, apparently I was a tepid fan. There was some inertia to overcome. Clearly this is a problem that up and coming bands face, which Ryan anticipates in one of my favorite songs, “Stretch“:
And it’s going to take microphones and stages,
Many people rearranging what their plans are for the night time
Hope they show up at the right time
And I’ll sing them my song
And I hope they sing along
I know they always sing along in my imagination.
That chorus kept running through my head, and I thought about how this and other RMB songs have inspired me. And I realized I should go. I should rearrange my “plans” and do something different. I wanted to support the band, do my small part to help make their dream come true, and maybe find some more inspiration toward my own dreams. I suspected I would see a great show.
So I headed out to The Cedar Cultural Center on April 14.
And oh man am I glad I did. It was nearly a religious experience. I’ve seen the light. My goal with this post and at least one more to follow is to share the joy with others; to persuade you to listen to their music. Give them a try. What kind of music is this, you ask? I have no idea what category to place it in. It’s just good. Great. Reviewers describe their style as folk, blues, soul, R & B, ragtime, and rock.
There are a lot of RMB and solo Ryan videos out on the Net. In addition to the link to “Stretch” above, here’s a mellow yet passionate number, “Starting Again“:
(Thanks to Mark Thompson for the pointer.)
You can download a selection of full tracks and partial samples at the Ryan Montbleau Band web site. (If you look around there, you can actually listen to full tracks of all their songs.)
All right! Get to it. You’ve invested the time to read my meandering post; why not spend a few minutes more listening to some talented artists and inspiring music?