I’ve been singing the praises of the Ryan Montbleau Band for the better part of a decade and can’t for the life of me understand why the outfit has never hit the big-time. I fell for RMB with the release of 2006’s “One Fine Color” and 2007’s “Patience on Friday,” and their March 2007 show at Pittsburgh’s Club Café remains one of my favorite intimate-venue concerts to date.
Montbleau is still plugging away — latest album “Growing Light” is another winner — but the record also marks the end of an era. After more than 10 years together, the Ryan Montbleau Band has decided to split amicably.
“We knew this would be our last recording together as full-on road warriors when we entered the studio.” Montbleau explains. “That made the whole experience much more real and emotional and gave it a certain focus. We were about to split up, but not because of animosity or rifts in the band; it was all for good reasons. After 10 years on the road it was time for some people to stay home with their families … or just to move on.”
“Growing Light” proves to be a fitting swan song for the band. Their appealing mix of rock, blues and soul is evident throughout, with RMB shining brightest on the title track, “Pacing Like Prince,” “Throw Me Away,” “Those Things,” “Loving You” and “Together.” If you still aren’t familiar with Montbleau’s music, now’s the perfect opportunity to change that. (Jeffrey Sisk)