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Live at Life is Good

Blue’s Mountain - 2011

Artist: Ryan Montbleau Band

Rating: stars

The work of Ryan Montbleau is by far the best new music I've heard in 2012, and he now stands among my favorite songwriters and performers.

My first encounter with Ryan Montbleau was at the Keswick Theater in Glenside, PA, where he was the opening act for Colin Hay, performing his original songs solo on acoustic guitar.

After the show I met Ryan and picked up his CD "Live at Life is Good" featuring his full band. I was hooked. The lyrics are honest, heartfelt and fun, the music crisp and clean, blending folk, country, blues, soul and a little reggae.

Ryan surrounds himself with amazing talent, clearly evident in the musicianship on this live recording. Live at Life is Good is one of the best live recordings I've heard by one of the best live bands I've ever heard. Everything is spot on.

During a recent trip into Philly I had the opportunity to see The Ryan Montbleau Band in its entirety, at World Cafe Live. My parents, both in their seventies, joined my fiancé and me for the show and they loved it.

Lyle Brewer makes a wonderful sound for sore ears, sure to impress and inspire any guitarist or guitar fan. His skill is undeniable and he shifts gears from blues to jazz to country picking effortlessly like a finely tuned sports car switching lanes on the open highway. His concise, versatile and melodic playing style brings to mind the clean picking and riffing of guitarists like Chet Atkins, Johnny A, et al.

Ryan Montbleau's music is sometimes light but always rockin', and the band — all accomplished musicians in their own right — lays down undeniably cool grooves with the slickest guitar, smoothest bass and backbeat held together by bassist Matt Giannaros, drummer James Cohen and percussionist Yahuba. Keyboardist Jason Cohen colors it all with smooth jazz organ.

Great music, a great band, and a great performance. Highly recommended to anyone who appreciates good music done well.

Last Update: 29 Apr, 2019

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