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Ryan Montbleau w/ Kristopher James + Maggie Clifford

Thursday February 22 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

$30.00 – $35.00

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RYAN MONTBLEAU:

DOORS AT 7PM / SHOW AT 8PM
INDOOR SHOW

FACEBOOK EVENT

SPOTIFY / INSTAGRAM

For as long as he can remember, Ryan Montbleau’s been a seeker. From the jungles of Peru to the volcanoes of Hawaii, from the beaches of Costa Rica to the streets of Brooklyn, from the backseat of a 16-passenger van to backstage at Carnegie Hall, the acclaimed singer/songwriter has spent much of his life crisscrossing the globe on a perpetual search for meaning, purpose, and understanding. It’s a quest that’s guided him both personally and professionally over the years, one that’s come to define not only his music but his very sense of self. And yet, listening to Montbleau’s ambitious new multi-part album, Wood, Fire, Water, and Air, there is a profound sense of satisfaction in sitting still, a recognition that perhaps all those spiritual treasures he’s been chasing for so long were closer than he thought.

“My whole adult life has been this journey of trying to figure out where home is,” Montbleau reflects. “I think I’ve finally found it.”

Set to roll out across four distinct EPs, Wood, Fire, Water, and Air marks Montbleau’s first studio release since putting down permanent roots in Burlington, Vermont, where he recently purchased a house after more than two decades of living on the road. While much of the material here was written in fits and starts over the past several years, it’s clear that the desire for stability was very much on Montbleau’s mind even before he settled on the banks of Lake Champlain, and the songs reflect a maturity and self-awareness that can only come from the difficult work of rigorous self-examination. Montbleau is quick to credit therapy for his growth of late, but he sings about more than just himself here, mixing sly humor and deep revelations as he meditates on the ties that bind all of us perfectly imperfect humans together. Taken as a whole, it’s a broad, insightful collection balancing boisterous rock and roll energy with intimate folk introspection, a sprawling, magnetic record all about listening, letting go, and living life.

“I’ve been through a lot over these past few years,” says Montbleau, “and I’ve experienced some monumental shifts in my perspective. The only way for me to write about it was to just get as honest and vulnerable as I could.”

Honesty and vulnerability have been hallmarks of Montbleau’s career since the early 2000’s, when he first began performing around his native Massachusetts. In the years to come, he’d go on to collaborate with artists as diverse as Martin Sexton, Trombone Shorty, Tall Heights, and Galactic, and rack up more than 100 million streams on Spotify alone. Along the way, Montbleau would share bills with stars like Tedeschi Trucks Band, Ani DiFranco, The Wood Brothers, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and Mavis Staples, but it was his ecstatic headline shows—often more than 200 of them a year—that solidified his reputation as a roots rock powerhouse and an inexorable road warrior. NPR’s Mountain Stage compared his “eloquent, soulful songwriting” to Bill Withers and James Taylor, while Relix celebrated his “poetic Americana,” and The Boston Herald raved that “he’s made a career of confident, danceable positivity.”


KRISTOPHER JAMES

OPENS THE SHOW!

SPOTIFY / INSTAGRAM

As a kid, sitting in the doorway of his room, Kristopher spent hours making mixtape after mixtape of songs he heard on the radio that began to mold his young musical mind. From Boys II Men’s “cooleyhighharmony” to Garth Brooks’ hits, Kristopher swam in the lyrics and melodies. His knack for music, matched with years of filling composition books with personal poetry, improvised lyrics, and dream-like short stories, pushed Kristopher towards his calling —as a songwriter.

It wasn’t until he sat behind a drum set, fueled by teenage angst, that Kristopher began his musician’s journey. From there, he taught himself guitar, piano, and bravely – how to sing. What is seen now, on intimate stages, like the iconic Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Georgia, to theater stages, such as the Capitol Theater in Clearwater, Florida, is the concentrated influences and earnest emotional exposition that solidify Kristopher – as an Americana-Soul force to be encountered and experienced.

Shortly after becoming a father, Kristopher wrestled with the dualities of parenthood, and under the catharsis of writing, he penned) his first song —a 3 verse, 2 chorus, 1 bridge tune, that would breakdown the floodgates of his pent-up musical creativity. “My Heart Wasn’t Ready”, which became a breakout song, was the first of four to be written, recorded, and produced in the following weeks — his first EP “Movement,” which also features the highly-praised “Runaways”. Expounding as a songwriter, Kristopher garnered local acclaim, “His vocals are perfectly reined in to suit his range and his easy gift for melody is unrivaled in the Bay area singer-songwriter space,” (Creative Loathing Tampa 2017). It was at this support from the Florida musical community that pushed Kristopher to dive back into the studio for his second EP “Find Me”—featuring the titular track, as well as songs like the moody “Fire & the Fuse,” the anguished “Heart Shaped Grave,” and the critically praised “Humming Hallelujah.” Kristopher sustains his soulful exchange with an ardent substance that is uniquely his own.

Though he’s lived in the Sunshine State, for most of his life, Kristopher’s talent for melody and song (now) extend far past the state’s line. Like his influencers Otis Redding, Amos Lee, and Roberta Flack, Kristopher’s voice is clear, controlled, and full of all-the-feels.  As with all artists, Kristopher’s sound has ebbed and flowed, evolving yet remaining instantly recognizable. With the growth he’s experienced as an artist, Kristopher felt it was time to capture his songs, in their fully-imagined sound!
With his debut album “Kindness Never Quits”, featuring members of Scary Pockets, Kristopher caught the attention of Relix & Glide Magazine, Spotify Playlist curators and continued praise, such as “vocals are so powerful and as the song progresses, he showcases why he is one of the best singers out there. All that soul in one artist is just unbelievable” from Reignland Magazine.

Continuing through the COVID years, Kristopher partnered with musicians to keep the music and community alive. Along with composer and keys player Mike Hicks of Rascal Flatts, The War & Treaty’s Max Brown on guitar, as well as talented artists Kyshona Armstrong, Jonathan Huber, DeMarco Johnson, Kristopher released 3 acclaimed singles: “Never Had to Find Our Way”, “Feelings” and “I Can Only Love You in a Song”


MAGGIE CLIFFORD

OPENS THE SHOW!

SPOTIFY / INSTAGRAM

Born and raised in a suburb of Rochester, NY, Clifford’s first project as a professional musician was with childhood best friend Kat Wright. Their folk duo, Loveful Heights, toured cross-country in 2010 and followed up the tour by recording their self-titled album. In collaboration with Wright, Clifford has opened for M. Ward and been featured in the 2017 film, The King, which was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Music Film category, an Emmy in the Best Documentary category, and for the Golden Eye Award at the Cannes Film Festival.

Clifford has performed in venues in France, India, Brazil, and across the United States. As a solo artist, she has written music for multiple documentary film projects, including Petra Costa’s feature-length directorial debut ELENA (2012). Clifford released an album inspired by her work on ELENA, a film that deals explicitly with mental health issues for women artists. ELENA was the most-watched documentary in Brazil the year of its release and Clifford’s song was referred to as “the soul of the film” by its director. The soundtrack, which includes several songs by and with Clifford, went on to be awarded Best Original Soundtrack by Ciné Musica. Since the release of her ELENA-inspired album in 2013, Clifford has recorded several singles including her most widely streamed, “Earth My Body” a love song for the living world.

Clifford is currently a PhD candidate studying climate change communication at American University. Her academic work often informs the thematic elements of her songs. Her most recent release (November 2021), was recorded with Gainesville musician Ricky Kendall and pays homage to acclaimed songwriter and musician Nanci Griffith, who passed away in August, 2021. “Trouble in the Fields,” a song by Griffith, portrays the resilience of a multi-generational farming family as they struggle to make ends meet and sustain their way of life.

Details

Date:
Thursday February 22
Time:
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Cost:
$30.00 – $35.00
Website:
View Website →

Venue

Heartwood Soundstage
619 South Main St.
Gainesville, FL 32601
+ Google Map
Phone
352 448 4849

Organizer

Heartwood Booking

Other

INDOOR / OUTDOOR
Indoor
Streaming
No
Food Options
Bingo Deli, Humble Pie
Doors / Show
7pm Doors / 8pm Doors