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Steve Kimock Summer/Fall 2010 News

This weekend the Everyone Orchestra takes improvisation to the Rockies with a four night run beginning September 16 in Fort Collins, CO followed by three days in Denver @ Quixotes.

Conductor Matt Butler will facilitate the musical improvisation of an unrivaled all-star cast including Steve Kimock on guitar, Jeff Sipe (Leftover Salmon, Trey Anastasio Band) on drums, Jennifer Hartswick (Trey Anastasio Band) on trumpet and vocals, Trevor Garrod (Tea Leaf Green) on keys, Michael Kang (SCI) on violin and mandolin, Mike Sugar (Jambay) on bass, Chuck Morris (Lotus) on percussion and YOU.

How do YOU fit into the Everyone Orchestra?... An orchestra where everyone in the room takes part, the Everyone Orchestra brings together a spirit of musical improvisation that must be experienced to be believed!

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Kimock's on the boat as a special guest artist; hosting the Jam Room, playing with Everyone Orchestra and more...! We are thrilled to join Jam Cruise 9 and so many great musicians & friends onboard this musical adventure. Jam Cruise 9 sets sail January 4-9, 2011 on the beautiful Italian ship MSC Poesia leaving from Ft Lauderdale's Port Everglades and with stops in Roatan, Honduras & Costa Maya, Mexico.

Less than 75 cabins left! We want to make sure that our fans don't miss out on this epic adventure at sea. Hope to have you on board so visit JamCruise.com for up-to-date info, artists on board, and more!

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Marking the 15th Anniversary of his passing and as a way to honor Jerry Garcia's musical and community legacy, Kimock contributed a live performance of a Jerry Garcia song to Jerry Jams for Rex which will benefit the Rex Foundation.

Available now at Livedownloads.com, Jerry Jams for Rex includes Kimock's performance of Stella Blue from 12/18/09, along with four exclusive previously unreleased live Garcia songs from Phish, Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers, The String Cheese Incident and Keller Williams & The Keels. Other artists featured on the 12-track compilation include The Black Crowes, Yonder Mountain String Band and more. All proceeds are a contribution to the Rex Foundation, the Grateful Dead's charitable arm.

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Unfortunately, the workshops are already full, but look for more Steve Kimock workshops in 2011.

Kimock will lead several electric guitar workshops at Jorma Kaukonen's Fur Peace Ranch from November 12-15, 2010. He is thrilled to participate in this special Hot Tuna All Star weekend!

For more info on Fur Peace visit the Fur Peace Ranch website.


Will Hoge Announces New Single And Tour!

Critically-acclaimed Nashville rocker Will Hoge’s latest album THE WRECKAGE received high praise from the likes of USA Today, calling it “both welcome and worth the wait.”   On Oct. 11, the second single from the disc, “Favorite Waste of Time,” will be released to radio.

“This song was a first taker in the studio,” says Hoge.  “We tracked all of it with just the four band members going live.  It just had such a great 'live' energy.   We later tried to beat the original guitar solo, but we weren’t ever able to top the feel and emotion of that first take so we just went with it.  And the lyric is pretty relatable for guys and girls...it’s definitely a fan favorite out on the road.”

BBC calls the track a “catchy, good-time rocker designed to rev up an audience,” while American Songwriter boasts that it “bites with bitterness and searing kiss-off electric guitar.”

To preview “Favorite Waste of Time,” click here.

The long time road warrior is not slowing down this fall as he continues a rigorous touring schedule with upcoming headlining dates.

FAVORITE WASTE OF TIME TOUR DATES:

9/25             Nashville, TN

10/6             Memphis, TN
10/7             Louisville, KY
10/8             Iowa City, IA
10/9             Toledo, OH
10/10            Chicago, IL
10/13            Knoxville, TN
10/14            Newport, KY
10/15            Columbus, OH
10/16            Akron, OH
10/17            Lexington, KY
10/20            Athens, GA
10/21            Atlanta, GA            
10/22            Johnson City, TN
10/23            Greenville, SC

Jake Hertzog Trio Saturday September 11th Midnight Set at Iridium Jazz Club

Guitar Player Magazine is calling him "…the blazing wunderkind." The Boston Phoenix has declared him "...the WOW! factor." Award-winning jazz guitarist and composer, Jake Hertzog, is making it big in New York City. Jake’s second studio album,Patterns (Buckyball, 2010), is Guitar Player Magazine’s Editor’s Pick. As a monthly contributor to Guitar Player's ‘Lessons’ section under the alias Hey Jazz Guy, Jake has been coined as the Jazz ambassador to the non-jazz world.

Jake’s debut album, Chromatosphere (That's Out Music, 2009), brought him critical acclaim including a five page interview in Guitar Player Magazine (June 2009)highlighting his unique technique and approach to modern jazz guitar. Both albums, recorded and produced by Grammy Award-winner, Joshua Paul Thompson.

Furthermore, he served as musical director and lead guitarist for Nickelodeon's The Naked Brothers Band stars, Nat and Alex Wolff. They have concluded two national tours and have performed on national television shows including Good Morning America, The View, Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, The Today Show and many others.

Past achievements include winning the Grand Prize in 2006 for the Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition in Switzerland. In the festivals 44-year history, he holds title at 20 years old as the youngest ever prize winner. He was invited back in 2007 to showcase his original music in the Montreux Jazz Festival. Jake is an Alum of the prestigious Berklee College of Music and recipient of several performance scholarships.

Jake Hertzog Trio  
Saturday September 11th | Midnight Set

Jake Hertzog - guitar
Harvie S- bass
Victor Jones - drums

Iridium Jazz Club | 51st and Broadway

Miles Davis/Sonny Rollins, Chet Baker, Wes Montgomery, others reissued on Concord

Concord Music Group is scheduled to reissue five new titles in the Original Jazz Classics Remasters series on September 28, 2010. Originally launched in March 2010 — and enhanced with 24-bit remastering by Joe Tarantino, along with insightful new liner notes — the series showcases some of the most pivotal recordings of the past several decades by artists whose influence on the jazz tradition is beyond measure.

The five new titles in the series are:

•    Vince Guaraldi Trio: Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus
•    Miles Davis featuring Sonny Rollins: Dig
•    Wes Montgomery: Boss Guitar
•    Chet Baker Sings: It Could Happen to You
•    Bill Evans Trio: Waltz for Debby

“Like the previous titles in the series, these are all-time classic recordings by some of the most legendary artists in the history of jazz,” says Nick Phillips, Vice President of Catalog and Jazz A&R at Concord Music Group and producer of the series. “Anyone looking to build a collection of timeless, essential jazz recordings could begin by simply selecting titles at random from the Original Jazz Classics Remasters series.  Their collection would be off to a terrific start.”

Vince Guaraldi Trio: Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus

Recorded in late 1961 and early 1962 for Fantasy, Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus — featuring bassist Monty Budwig and drummer Colin Bailey — was Guaraldi’s celebration of Brazilian bossa nova for Stateside audiences. Propelled by the surprise radio hit single “Cast Your Fate to the Wind,” Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus is the album that made Guaraldi a household name,” says Phillips.

The Guaraldi reissue also includes five bonus tracks — the single version of “Samba de Orfeu,” as well as four previously unreleased alternate takes: “Manhã de Carnaval,” “O Nosso Amor,” “Felicidade,” and “Cast Your Fate to the Wind.”

“Close to half a century later, the music on Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus remains as fresh and vibrant as it was when first heard in the spring of 1962,” says Derrick Bang, author of the new liner notes for the reissue. “The album has remained in print the entire time: no small thing, in an era when all music has a much greater risk of becoming ephemeral.”

Miles Davis featuring Sonny Rollins: Dig

Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins recorded Dig for Prestige in October 1951, with help from alto saxophonist Jackie McLean, pianist Walter Bishop, bassist Tommy Potter, and drummer Art Blakey. The reissue features two bonus tracks, “My Old Flame” and “Conception.”

“Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins form one of the most empathetic and powerfully moving duos in jazz,” says Ira Gitler in his original liner notes. “Although they had recorded together before (“Morpheus,” “Down,” “Whispering,” “Blue Room”), this was their first chance to stretch out together on records.” This extra room was made possible via the advent of the LP, which allowed for longer tracks and lengthier solos. “Looking back,” Gitler writes nearly six decades later in his new liner notes for the reissue, “the new latitude attitude sometimes led to LPs with some interminable solos, but for the most part it gave extremely creative players and writers a chance to fully speak their minds and hearts. Dig passes the half-century plus test.”

In addition to changes in recording technology, the significance of this recording is also about changes that were taking place in the music itself. “The early ’50s was a period in which a stylistic progression from bebop to what became known as hard bop was happening,” says Phillips. “So this is a snapshot of two artists who would later become absolute legends, making music history together in what was an important transitional period for both of them.”

Wes Montgomery: Boss Guitar

Recorded in April 1963 for Riverside, Wes Montgomery’s Boss Guitar features Mel Rhyne on Hammond B-3 organ and Jimmy Cobb on drums. In addition to the eight original tracks, the reissue also includes three bonus tracks: alternate takes of “Besame Mucho,” “The Trick Bag,” and “Fried Pies.”

“I think most jazz fans and guitar aficionados would agree that Montgomery was at the peak of his creative powers during his Riverside period,” says Phillips.  “Clearly the musicianship and the virtuosity that’s on display in Boss Guitar leaves no doubt as to why his guitar playing continues to be so influential.” 

Journalist Neil Tesser, who penned the new liner notes to the reissue, suggests that Montgomery “inspired something close to deification among his fellow guitarists.” While the title Boss Guitar was originally a reference to Montgomery’s excellent guitar chops, it has taken on a new meaning in the intervening decades. “These days,” says Tesser, “I think of it as a nickname for Montgomery himself: an accurate and respectful way of denoting the guitarist who, in the brief and shiny playground called the '60s, unexpectedly found himself calling the shots, leading the way, and – in his wholly unprepossessing manner – letting the jazz world know who was in charge on the instrument he played.”

Chet Baker Sings: It Could Happen to You

Recorded in August 1958 for Riverside, Chet Baker Sings: It Could Happen to You spotlights Baker’s vocals as well as his trumpet playing. It also features his first scatting on record. Backing him on this date are pianist Kenny Drew, bassists George Morrow and Sam Jones, and drummers Philly Joe Jones and Dannie Richmond. The reissue includes four bonus tracks: “While My Lady Sleeps” and “You Make Me Feel So Young,” and previously unreleased takes of “Everything Happens to Me” and “The More I See You.”

“It’s very easy to tell that the vocalist and the trumpet player on this record are the same person,” says Phillips. “Stylistically, Baker’s vocal approach — the nuances and phrasing — is very similar to the relaxed, effortless way he plays trumpet, and by the same token, there’s a certain lyrical quality to his trumpet playing.”

Despite Baker’s rocky personal life, he’s at the top of his game creatively on this recording. “Here is Chet Baker at 29, smack in the middle of the New York scene,” says jazz journalist Doug Ramsey in his liner notes for the reissue. “He is in good musical company and good spirits, beautifully singing a dozen great songs. His playing, particularly when he uses the Harmon mute, indicates an awareness of Miles Davis, but Baker’s style and individuality make it impossible to take him for anyone else. As always in Chet’s life, there was tumult and trouble, but when it came time to create, the strength of the artist overcame the weakness of the man.”

Bill Evans Trio: Waltz for Debby

Captured live at the Village Vanguard in June 1961, Waltz for Debby is the last recording of Bill Evans’s classic lineup of bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian (LaFaro was killed in a car accident less than two weeks after these performances). Bonus tracks on the reissue include the Evans Trio’s rendition of Gershwin’s “Porgy (I Loves You, Porgy)” and alternate takes of “Waltz for Debby,” “Detour Ahead,” and “My Romance.”

“This is one of Evans’s most popular and critically acclaimed recordings, and for good reason,” says Phillips. You could easily make the argument that Waltz for Debby was not only the high point in Evans’s career, but it also set a benchmark for the jazz piano trio format that has yet to be surpassed.”

Some 50 years after producing this legendary live session, Orrin Keepnews recalls in the new liner notes:  “I was convinced that this trio would not go on forever and might not even survive the upcoming tour. Learning that they would soon be at the Village Vanguard for two weeks shortly before going out on a long road trip, I started to lobby in favor of taping them in performance . . . It is by now a very well-established and accurate part of modern jazz lore that on Sunday, June 25, all went incredibly well . . . including the trio’s handling of the leader’s basic premise that this was to be music performed by a well-integrated trio, not a piano player with two accompanists.”

Christopher Paul Stelling: A Songwriter With a Story To Tell

Take one look at his road-worn, weathered guitar, and you know that Christopher Paul Stelling is a musician with a story to tell. With a heartfelt voice, dynamic finger-picked guitar stylings, and a songwriting approach that combines folkloric, mythological, and religious imagery, Stelling has forged a style that is all his own, yet hauntingly familiar. Think along the lines of John Fahey, Tom Waits, and Skip James.

Stelling has a busy few weeks ahead- this Thursday, August 19th, he’ll be appearing on East Village Radio’s Belly of the Beast at 8pm, and next Tuesday, August 24th, you can catch his signature blend of hellfire gospel at New York’s Rockwood Music Hall at 9pm, right after Hoots & Hellmouth.

Stelling has managed to revive a sense of musical storytelling and mastery over his instrument that was thought to be long since forgotten, especially in the modern era. His songs evoke everything from delicate fragility to blistering ferocity-those who witness his live shows are often left in disbelief, and wanting more.

Over the past decade, Stelling has traversed the country exploring the roots of American music. Originally hailing from Daytona Beach, he's since hopped from Boulder to Boston, Orlando to Asheville and everywhere in-between, until deciding to call Brooklyn home. Keep your ears out for a full-length album from Christopher Paul Stelling in 2011.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

August 28th – Brooklyn, NY – Goodbye Blue Monday

September 4th – Butler, PA - Associated Artists of Butler County

October 3rd – Brooklyn, NY – The Rock Shop

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Check out some of Chris' tunes on video:



"Black Wings" (Tom Waits cover)

Energetic & Inspiring, Spiritual Rez is delivering the goods

This 6-piece roots-reggae, rock outfit is packing out clubs on a nightly basis and breaking out brand new material off of their newest release, The NexusSpiritual Rez is quickly becoming the talk of 2010.

Winners of the 2007 Boston Music Award for Best World Music Act and Alumni of the prestigious Berklee College of Music, the band provides a fresh blend of Reggae, Funk, Afrobeat and Rock to give one of the most energetic live shows around.

The band’s newest release, The Nexus, is a winning combination of the group’s positive songwriting, energy-filled live performances and their heavily inspired roots-reggae sound. “Alone Again”, showcases the group’s ability to create infectious grooves mixed with bright horn lines and searing guitar, all while giving a nod to the influences of an earlier, gentler, Wailers sound.  The powerful, “Rollin’ Dutches”, captures the band’s Ska-punk roots with tight changes and quick-lipped lyrics. The albums closing cut,  “More Than I Am”, brings everything all together.  The bands positive grasp on life shines through in Toft Willingham and Van Gordon Martin’s lyrics as the rest of the group holds it down.  The dueling patterns of guitar and horns are very tasteful and the ending crescendo reels in the listener, leaving them wanting more.

What really shines about The Nexus, is how the band’s lively stage performance and organic musicianship is captured in the studio.  The Sweat-inducing, body-shaking grooves that are created every night on tour, are recreated and mixed with expertise.  This allowed the band to formulate, The Nexus, into an emotion filled experience that really punctuates the being of Spiritual Rez.

There’s no stopping Spiritual Rez!  After years of touring the country, performing at prestigious events (Bear Creek Music Festival, Camp Bisco and The Lake Eden Arts Festival) and promoting an uplifting mix of music and attitude, the band has been fortunate to share the stage with many of their influences.  These include George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Toots and The Maytals, Steel Pulse and Bernie Worrell (Funkadelic original member, Talking Heads), who has often been a featured member. These experiences have given Spiritual Rez the ability to hone their sound and songwriting, but also share their take on reggae and funk with some of the biggest innovators of those genres.

The Boston-based band has been described by Skipper’s Smokehouse (Tampa, FL) as having “the ferocious live energy and bombast of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and PFunk, to their own blending of chill island grooves with raucous urban tribal vibes.

Their live experience continues to leave a trail of worn-out dancers as Spiritual Rez is now recognized as a band with "a higher consciousness of respect and energy through music" and will continue to grow in the hearts of music fans across the globe.

Check out Spiritual Rez with special guest Bernie Worrell on Friday, September 17th, 2010 at The Paradise Rock Club & Lounge

White Rabbits Announce US Tour With Interpol

After spending the better part of two years on the road (including festival stops at Lollapallooza, Glastonbury (UK), Sasquatch, Monolith and tours with The Walkmen, Spoon, Richard Swift, The Cribs, White Denim and Tokyo Police Club) White Rabbits hunkered down in their Brooklyn practice space to set about re-envisioning the dark pop of their debut Fort Nightly, while adding new sounds and influences to achieve an original work.  The result is It’s Frightening, their second full-length album.

White Rabbits signed to TBD Records (US home to Radiohead/Other Lives/Hatcham Social) and erected a makeshift studio in their basement rehearsal space to demo new material.  Band members popped in and out over the course of several months lending ideas and personality to a new batch of songs that defy instant categorization. After enlisting tourmate, friend and songwriter Britt Daniel (Spoon) as producer, the pair began the process of exchanging demos between Brooklyn and Portland.  White Rabbits recorded It’s Frightening over the course of four weeks, only taking a break to play the Transmusicales Festival in Rennes, France.  The sessions were recorded by visionary engineer Nicholas Vernhes (Animal Collective, Deerhunter) at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn, NY.  Taking special care to recreate the unhinged nature of the original demos, the band utilized the wide range of tools in the analog-friendly studio to shape the personal spirit infused in the new tracks.  Upon the completion of tracking, White Rabbits traveled to Austin, TX to mix the record with studio wizard Mike McCarthy (Spoon, Trail Of Dead) using his exceptional ears to transform It’s Frightening into a uniquely rewarding headphone experience.

It’s Frightening plays like a classic reel of tape from start to finish. Opening with the visceral drums of “Percussion Gun,” it is clear that time-off from the road has served the band well.  The many highlights include the emotional centerpiece “Company I Keep,” the new sonic territory of “Lionesse” and the macabre lyrics of “Right Where They Left.”  Fans of Fort Nightly will find much to go weak in the knees over and new listeners are in for an awakening as White Rabbits flip the switch on an already impressive beginning. It’s Frightening is a journey into the playfully dark musings of Everyman.

The lineup : Stephen Patterson (vox/piano), Jamie Levinson (drums), Matthew Clark (drums, guitar), Alex Even (guitar), Gregory Roberts (guitar/vox). A U.S. tour will follow the May release of It’s Frightening

US Tour Dates With Interpol

10/18 - Fox Theater - Oakland, CA

10/21 - Soma - San Diego, CA

10/22 - The Joint - Las Vegas, NV

10/23 - Greek Theatre - Los Angeles, CA

10/25 - Ogden Theatre - Denver, CO

10/27 - The Palladium Ballroom - Dallas, TX

10/28 - Stubb's Waller Creek Ampitheatre - Austin, TX

10/29 - Verizon Wireless Theatre - Houston, TX

11/01 - The Tabernacle - Atlanta, GA

11/03 - Constitutional Hall - Washington, DC

11/04 - Tower Theatre- Upper Darby, PA

11/05 - United Palace - NY, NY

11/06 - United Palace - NY, NY

"U.K.'S MOST ORIGINAL BAND" FLIPRON

Flipron, the British quartet that has been described as "Tom Waits meets The Kinks on a carnival midway," will make their U.S. debut in September with a string of showcase dates that begin in New York at The Bitter End on September 11.  Drawing on diverse musical influences as far-ranging as 1920's Hawaiian Steel guitar rags, laid-back Western Swing, Klezmer stomps and old-time folk ballads, Flipron are known as brilliant wordsmiths and entertaining eccentrics.  Their milieu is classic rock songs that take winding, unexpected turns, as evidenced on the newly-released sampler CD, WITH BREATH BATED AND EYELIDS UNBLINKING, which was specially compiled for the U.S. shows with selections from the band's three studio albums.

Before arriving in the U.S., the band played several high profile summer shows in the U.K., including a 10-date stint at the world-renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival and an appearance at the prestigious Glastonbury Festival that takes place annually in the band's hometown.  Flipron have played the Glastonbury Festival (this year's Festival was attended by over 150,000 people) six years in a row, with 2008 seeing them play a record 10 shows on separate stages at the event.

Signed in the U.K. to independent Tiny Dog Records and hailed by the British press as "the most original band in the UK," Flipron is a band that continually marches to the beat of their own drummer.  As example, the video for their new single, "The Coolest Names in Showbiz," was shot on location in Dorset and made for a whopping £80 using one light borrowed from videographer Alex Heath.   The video, in which members of the band tie frontman and songwriter Jesse Budd to a chair and cut off his curly mop of hair, can be viewed on YouTube. The song, which includes lyrics like "Your mouth is doing business in some well paid conversation/while a million pigeons launch in geometrical formations and hanging high above your head," is about "sacrificing an easy life to discover what you might really be capable of," according to the band.  "We at least discovered that the strutting, curly haired singer was capable of having his hair cut."  "The Coolest Names in Showbiz" is included on the BREATH BATED sampler.  It is available from iTunes and other digital outlets.

Flipron comprises Jesse Budd (vocals, guitar, mandolin, lap steel, accordion); Joe Atkinson (organ, piano, backing vocals), Mike Chitty (drums) and John Thompson (electric bass).  They are poised to conquer America with their unconventional approach to music. 

Their scheduled U.S. appearances are as follows:  September 11-The Bitter End, New York; 14-Hotel Café, Los Angeles; 16-3rd and Lindsley, Nashville; and 17--World Cafe Live, Philadelphia.

FOLK-ROCK DUO LONG WOODSON TO RELEASE 2ND CD

Folk-rock duo Long Woodson, the prolific pair whose songwriting prowess extends to book-intricate concept albums, will release its second, ROBYVILLE (Robyville Records; Sept. 21, 2010), with a show in Austin to celebrate just two days later.

Long Woodson backed by its band plays at 10 p.m. Thursday, September 23, at Saxon Pub, 1320 S. Lamar Blvd. Cover is $5; information: 512.448.2552. Matt King will play at 8 p.m. and David Beck at midnight.
ROBYVILLE details a fictional West Texas town full of misfits hiding out from mainstream America, each song written about or from the perspective of one of them. Dark lyrics, harmony hooks and gritty vocals paint a picture of survival and hope behind mandolin, Spanish and acoustic guitars, harmonica, and distorted electric guitar.
Matt Long and Gunter Woodson met at The University of Texas and played together in several Austin rock bands. After a time, the duo began to record some of the songs in what has become a growing catalog of co-written material. The result was its first concept album, the acclaimed GIRL UPSTAIRS, which was released in 2009.
ROBYVILLE promises listeners a stimulating journey and a fascinating visit with a colorful cast of characters — with “Nikki,” “Jimi,” “Creole Man” and nine more tracks.
For more information, visit www.longwoodson.com.

Ryan Montbleau Band's Martin Sexton-produced album out September 21

“Time hangs heavy on the vine/Let’s make wine,” Ryan Montbleau sings in the lulling, sensual verse that gives his group’s new album its title. Ryan Montbleau Band has been tending its own musical vineyard for a few years, on the patient cusp of a breakthrough. Their distinctive, long-fermenting blend of neo-folk, classic soul, and kick-out-the-jams Americana finally comes to full fruition in Heavy on the Vine, due out September 21, 2010 on indie Blue’s Mountain Records. It’s an album that represents the product of — and further promise of — a very good year.

It’s been a good year already. The group spent much of it both as opening act and backing band for Martin Sexton, including a round of dates with the Dave Matthews Band. Sexton in turn produced Heavy on the Vine. “I used to dream about getting to meet Martin Sexton,” says Ryan, “and now we’re getting hired as his backing band and he’s producing our record.

“He may not be a household name but to me and so many others, he’s a legend,” Montbleau adds. “But one thing he made clear from the start was that he didn’t want his fingerprints on this record. He wanted us to just play and be us.”

As a songwriter, Ryan recently contributed the single “Something Beautiful” to Trombone Shorty’s recent major-label debut album Backatown. Shorty turned to no less than Lenny Kravitz to contribute vocals and a guitar solo to the track, to help bring across the song’s soulful vibe. Ryan also co-wrote the Backatown track “One Night Only,” the tune Shorty and his band performed on their Late Night with David Letterman debut in June.

“I’m not one of these people who’s like, ‘Oh, we can’t be pigeonholed.’ I honestly wish we could, just so I could describe it quickly to people,” Montbleau says. “This record has folk songs, funk songs, country tunes, a reggae tune . . . and the end is almost like prog-rock. It’s all over the map, but it’s all us, and we always do it wholeheartedly. We’ve sort of come up in the jam scene, and that’s where our hearts have been in a lot of ways. But we don’t go off on 15-minute epics. We’re actually trying to make the songs shorter as we go. So I would lean more toward the Americana thing than the jam thing. But more than anything, we’re definitely about the song.”

The “us”-ness of the band comes through in Heavy on the Vine in vivid, funny, touching, and hummable spades. The opening “Slippery Road” playfully examines the fine line of moderation between inebriation and sobriety, a subject familiar to most of Montbleau’s contemporaries and more than a few non-musicians. “Carry,” the purest love song Montbleau has written, is in demand as a wedding song by some romantics who’ve heard it being road-tested. “Fix Your Wings” deals with damage and healing in relationships, with tight gospel harmonies adding to the surprisingly sprightly feel. Both the rocking “Here at All” and the ’20s-styled “Stay” address the itinerant musician’s thwarted impulse to settle in one place for more than one night at a time. An admirer of Paul Simon, Montbleau reaches some of his greatest lyrical heights in “Straw in the Wind,” which asks, “Wouldn’t it be nice . . . if you could reconcile the smile you want to feel with the one that you show?”

“For the song ‘More and More and More’ we had done another weirder version in the studio with a strange old synthesizer. But Martin said, ‘We need to try a Rolling-Stones-in-Nashville country version of this,’ with an untuned piano they had in the studio. And it turned out great.”

The Peabody, Mass. native got his first guitar at age nine but didn’t get the bug to become a serious player until he was attending Villanova University. He spent many years as an acoustic solo artist. His first album, Begin (2002), was followed by the live Stages. The first Montbleau Band recording was One Fine Color (2006). And by the time 2007’s Patience on Friday was released, Ryan Montbleau Band (Montbleau, guitar, lead vocals; Laurence Scudder, viola, vocals; Jason Cohen, keyboards; James Cohen, drums; Matt Giannaros, bass, vocals; and Yahuba, percussion, vocals) were hometown heroes.

The band’s unusual makeup was somewhat accidental, as the leader tells it; he never had it in mind, for instance, that he needed a full-time viola player. “It just evolved over the years, because I really didn’t have a sound that I was going for,” he says, before qualifying that claim. “Well, I knew I wanted an upright bass, I guess. And I knew I wanted the drummer in some ways to be more of a jazz drummer than a straight-ahead rock drummer. But that was all I knew. I’ve personally always loved the B3 organ, but the keyboard approach really comes from Jason (Cohen), who’s a vintage gear nut and tone junkie who loves old Rhodes, organs, Wurlitzers, Moogs, etc.”

Abject realism and a sense of limitless possibility coexist in Montbleau’s ever-ripening mind. “For the last 10 years, I’ve had this insane desire to just go out there and do this. And I face the realities that, okay, I’m 33 and I’m not selling out stadiums yet. I get more realistic as I go and I also get more appreciative of just being able to do this at all. My goal for a few years when I was starting out was to make a living off playing music, and now I’ve been doing that for seven years or so, and the goals change as you go. Now the goal is to spend more time practicing and writing and creating, and a little less time doing all the business stuff.”

Tempted as Montbleau might be to look toward the big picture, not losing sight of the small one is why the band has maintained such a loyal and evangelistically inclined base. “I still go back to my original philosophy of just one person at a time,” he says. “I never even told people ‘Bring your friends to the show’ at the beginning, because it wasn’t about them bringing their friends, it was about them bringing themselves. I’m trying to focus on the one person, because if they come and like it, they are going to bring their friends. We’re still grass roots in that way.” No surprise, then, that those well-tended roots have sprung up into such pregnant vines.