Another Artist Who Wowed The Lowell Summer Music Series Returns
It has been several years since Ryan Montbleau has appeared at the Lowell Summer Music Series but I am delighted that he and his band will return on Saturday, July 22nd! I have seen him a number of times since then and, regardless of whether he is solo or with a band, he always delivers a terrific show!
“Ryan Montbleau has been an acclaimed singer, songwriter, and bandleader for more than a decade, but with his new album, I Was Just Leaving, the New England-based artist has truly arrived.
“Contemplative and richly emotive, the album offers a glimpse into the often-lonesome life of the relentlessly traveling troubadour, a strikingly single-minded existence too often clouded by the blur of constant motion. Recorded at New Orleans’ Esplanade Studios over four days in January 2016 with producer Anders Osborne and engineer/mixer Mark Howard (known for his work with such icons as Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Neil Young, and U2), the album marks Montbleau’s first full length release in the wake of a series of seismic personal shifts. Songs like “Bright Side” and the touching title track reveal a uniquely blessed artist who has truly found his voice, his gift for melody and a remarkably open-armed approach.
““There’s no part of this record that I am unsure of,” Montbleau says. “All the juice of the last fifteen years is in there. My humanity and my heart are on this record.”
“Montbleau has been among America’s finest songwriters and performers, earning national attention and a fervent fan following with songs like “75 and Sunny” and his breakthrough cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” the latter a Spotify smash with total streams now in excess of 14 million.
“After twelve years on the road Montbleau found himself at a crossroads in 2016. “Within a very short time, my world got flipped around. My partner was gone, my band of ten years was gone, my friends were all far away. The one thing I had was a career, because it turns out that was all I had worked on. When the dust settled, I realized I didn’t really have much of a home life.”
““I thought all along that I had been building a home but it turned out I was just leaving. That’s where the title of the song and the record came from. So many raw feelings were just aching through me at that point. Eventually they vibrated out through the guitar, through singing. I had to sing these songs.”
“An artist’s artist, Montbleau has collaborated with such diverse performers as Martin Sexton, Trombone Shorty, and Galactic. His association with Anders Osborne extends back to 2012 when the New Orleans-based singer/songwriter/guitarist played on Ryan’s Ben Ellman-produced album, For Higher, alongside such fellow Big Easy icons as Ivan Neville and The Meters’ George Porter, Jr. Two years later, Anders and Ryan reconnected on the road backstage at a festival. The seeds were planted for a collaboration.
“Montbleau’s guitar playing and vocals are both front and center on I Was Just Leaving, with Osborne accompanying on drums, percussion, bass, guitar and harmonica, each used simply and sparsely for maximum effect. Osborne and Howard built upon that same goal, creating space and capturing rawness by utilizing as many early takes as possible.
“I Was Just Leaving marks a singular milestone for Ryan Montbleau, the moment in which this exceptional singer, songwriter, and performer has blossomed into a fully matured artist.
““I’ve been planting these seeds for so long and it has all led up to this moment. It feels like finally the fruits of all my efforts are coming out. I’m still working hard but there’s an ease to what’s happening. I have a career that I’ve built, that I’ve earned. Now what’s fun is putting out the best music I can and seeing what happens.””
Tickets for the Ryan Montbleau show are priced at $32 in advance (fee-free!) and children 12 and under are always free courtesy of Eastern Bank. There are also premium seats – beach chairs are provided by the Series – set in two rows directly in front of the stage for $82. Tickets for this show go on sale on Thursday, May 4th at 9 a.m. through Lowell Summer Music Series.
For those of you who are unaware of the Series, or if you are aware of it but have never attended a show there, it is an outdoor (weather permitting) concert series held on National Park Service grounds in Lowell, Massachusetts. The Series is not-for-profit, which helps keep the ticket prices reasonable.
Surrounding Boarding House Park are old mill buildings, part of the Lowell National Historical Park, which you can tour if you arrive early enough. They provide an unusual setting for an evening of great music and ambiance.
The Series generally runs from mid-June to early September.
This Series is dear to my heart. I have been a season pass holder since 2007 and it is one of the highlights of the year (and of summer in particular) for me. Many lasting friendships have been made there. I expect this will be another excellent year!
I will post additional announcements for the Series as they are made.
The final lineup is:
June 10 (Saturday) – Trombone Shorty
June 16 (Friday) – Michael Franti & Spearhead
June 17 (Saturday) – Vince Gill
July 9 (Sunday) – Melissa Etheridge
July 14 (Friday) – The O’Connor Band
July 21 (Friday) – Graham Nash
July 22 (Saturday) – Ryan Montbleau
August 4 (Friday) – Amos Lee
August 6 (Sunday) – Dawes
August 12 (Saturday) – Lyle Lovett and His Large Band
August 19 (Saturday) – David Grisman Sextet
August 20 (Sunday) – Stephen Stills and Judy Collins
September 1 (Friday) – Rosanne Cash
Posted on May 3, 2017, in concert announcements, music, Uncategorized and tagged Boarding House Park, boston, concert announcement, Lowell, Lowell National Historical Park, Lowell Summer Music Series, music, Ryan Montbleau. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.