Greensky Bluegrass

Greensky Bluegrass (9:15 PM)

Ryan Montbleau Band (8:30 PM)

Sat, March 16, 2013

8:00 pm

adv tix $15.00 / day of show tix $18.00

This event is all ages

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Greensky Bluegrass - (Set time: 9:15 PM)
Greensky Bluegrass
If you're familiar with bluegrass music, then you're tuned in to some of what Greensky Bluegrass does. They're also known to throw a great party, rock n roll, and (if the critics are to be believed) they have great songs. They are unquestionably a team of friends that traverse the country making music they enjoy. What makes Greensky different than Bluegrass? Poignant rural ballads about real people? Dobro tone that Jerry (Douglas or Garcia) would love? Distortion Pedals? Grit and attitude from a whiskey soaked card game? Indeed, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.

This quintet from Michigan has been staying up late at all the coolest festivals and stopping to play your favorite clubs and theaters across America for 11 years now. Nearly 175 shows per year has prepared them for the rigorous task of continuity. Greensky Bluegrass isn't slowing down. "They're coming to your town to help you party down." Yeah. Really. Like you never thought possible.

At the start of the millenium,some of these guys met, then they met more guys. They thought Greensky was a clever name for a bluegrass band. Fast forward to 2011 when they recorded their fourth studio record, called Handguns. Among them, words like, "proud," "killer," and "damn right!" have been spoken in regards to the music of Handguns.

While they all may be accurate, we hope you'll find far more than you expected, hell - even more than we expected contained in this piece work that may well come to define one of 21st Century America's hardest working musical ensembles.
Ryan Montbleau Band - (Set time: 8:30 PM)
Ryan Montbleau Band
Songs for Ryan Montbleau typically need to simmer. In his 10-year career this gifted singer and his limber band
have built their catalog the old-fashioned way, by introducing new songs to their live set, then bending and shaping
them over dozens of performances before committing a definitive version to the hard drive.
For that and many other reasons, Montbleau’s next album, For Higher, is quite literally a departure. Wellestablished
out of his home base in the Northeast, the singer threw himself into New Orleans, where everything is
slow-cooked, for a few fast-moving days -- and whipped up an instant delicacy.
A few of the cuts on the new album – the playful stomp of “Deadset” or “Head Above Water,” freshly peppered
with horns – were already part of the Ryan Montbleau Band’s ever-growing repertoire. But the majority, including
four handpicked cover tunes -- stone soul nuggets from Bill Withers, Curtis Mayfield, the late Muscle Shoals
guitarist Eddie Hinton and more -- came together spontaneously, with little prepwork.
It was a feel thing, with Montbleau putting heads together with fellow music head Ben Ellman of New Orleans
flag-bearers Galactic. The singer and songwriter first eased his way into the city when he was invited to contribute
songs to “Backatown,” the breakthrough album of favorite son Trombone Shorty. That went so well, Montbleau
co-wrote two more songs for Shorty’s recent follow-up, “For True.”
When Montbleau sent videos of himself performing the songs, Ellman, who produced “Backatown,” was impressed.
Why not come down and do a record of your own? he asked.
Almost before he got an answer, Ellman had assembled a band of ringers – keyboard/B3 player Ivan Neville,
French Quarter mainstay Anders Osborne on guitar, drummer Simon Lott, and the estimable George Porter, Jr. of
the Meters and countless funky sessions on bass. Though Montbleau has released several solo records and
three albums credited to his full band, he felt like this was an all-new hurdle he’d have to clear.
“My main issue was, what would I bring in for material?” he recalls, sitting in the kitchen of the spacious home he
and several bandmates share in an industrial city north of Boston. “I’d never done a session like that.
“Our band will ‘shed songs on the road for years and then record them, and there’s strength in that. But there’s
also strength in putting together these other badasses for a few days.”
And his New Orleans band proved, in fact, to be most badass. If Montbleau was initially a bit apprehensive that
the sessions might represent just another paycheck for his sidemen, he quickly learned otherwise. “Every single
person, kind of to my amazement, got into it,” he says. “They listened to every playback, and they were highfiving
each other. They were great.”
Staying at Ellman’s house while recording the new album, Montbleau spent his downtime cruising the streets of
New Orleans on a borrowed vintage bike. “There’s clearly no American city like it, at all,” he says. “It’s deep, dark
and beautiful.”
Unlike Montbleau’s previous recordings, which showcase his own maturing songcraft, the new album draws a lot
of its depth and beauty from its cover songs. Perfectly titled is the beatific “Sweet, Nice and High,” originally recorded
by the forgotten soul supergroup Rhinoceros. On the other end of the moodswing, Mayfield’s “Here But
I’m Gone,” written and recorded for the great singer’s last album, after the accident that left him paralyzed, is a
shimmering testament to human frailty.
“Sometimes I feel like there are so many songs -- who the hell needs another song?” Montbleau asks. But then
he’ll discover another new inspiration – sitting at the kitchen table sipping tea, there’s a vinyl copy of an old Billy
Preston album propped on the windowsill behind him -- and another lyric or melody will come to him like a visitation.
And when the song becomes a reality, and the crowds begin to sing it back to him, well, that’s what it’s all
about.
At 34, he’s a late-bloomer who’s right on time. Montbleau didn’t start singing and playing guitar in earnest until he
was in college, at Villanova. Later, working at the House of Blues in Boston, he began playing solo sets there as a
warmup act. His band – there’s now six of them -- came together naturally, over time, planting strong roots in coffeeshops,
folk venues and rock clubs before converting audiences on an outdoor festival circuit that now
stretches across the country. Through word of mouth and repeat visits, the band has built a devoted following
from the Northeast to Chicago, Seattle and Austin. “It’s like watching the grass grow,” says the easygoing Montbleau.
Far from feeling left out of the New Orleans sessions, his band is already feeding hungrily on the arrangements
from the new album in their live sets.
“We’ve done a good job staying in one direction, just moving forward,” says the singer. “We all just really want to
get better. I try to instill it in the guys -- if we just keep it together, good stuff is gonna continue to happen.”
When the crowds are dancing, the band digs deeper in the pocket. But Montbleau, who still performs solo, is
constantly looking to strike a balance between the contagious energy of moving bodies and making a closer connection.
“You can still dance and have a good time,” he says of his fast-spreading fan base, “but I love when you listen.”
Venue Information:
Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069
http://www.troubadour.com/

All lineups and times subject to change