One Fine Color – Ryan Montbleau Band
The Ryan Montbleau Band spills their tastefully melodic basin all over the floor on their new CD. One Fine Color is filled with the blues, some ragtime swagger, rock and always soul, especially in Montbleaus vocals. Basically, its a good slice of American-bred music all shuffled together.
The beautiful moments like trombonist Ted Wilsons smooth soloing on the down-home St. Louis Quickie and bassist Matt Giannaros’ runs on the same track make the CD.
The overall vibe is very scattered in regards to genre choices, and Montbleaus voice has an acquired appeal. But, really, who cares about coherence all the time? And, some of the best tastes in life are those we have to acquire. Ill even say that I didnt like the CD the first time through, but Im big enough to back off and say that by listens three and four I was tapping my foot, sometimes both of them.
The writing (heavily relationship based) shouldnt be dismissed as standard sappy love-themed verse. Here are a few well-written lines from Inspired by No One, talking about the erratic buckshot approach to finding true love. One love is far greater than many. One feeling never can be ignored. Two times the fun can be far too many. Too much of a good thing aint no good. I used to give away a flower a day. Now I got me a field of roses that stare back at me from the window and beg me for somewhere to go.
Thick American Skin digs deep in another topical direction and features Montbleau singing a capella about the state of America, our past, present and future. The colors of my country, the colors of a bruise. With 50 stars to signify that no ones born to lose. And the gifts that weve been given come bestowed by tired hands. Tied to no known race, religion or native of this land. And I am falling into a freedom trail. He expresses his pride in his American skin but warns that, This fight that we are fighting I fear will help no future day.
Unique sounding vocals, a very skilled and diverse sounding band with broad musical approaches and thoughtful lyricsThose criteria make this a CD to recommend and certainly a band to watch as its sound focuses in the future.