click to enlarge
When you hear of a band named after the lead singer -- like the Ryan Montbleau Band -- you might wonder if the rest of the band is just along for the ride or actually has some serious chops. Montbleau was playing solo gigs in Boston coffee shops when he recruited the musical skills of Matt Gianarros (bass, vocals), Laurence Scudder (viola), Jason Cohen (piano) and James Cohen (drums) to form the group. Montbleau's talent as a songwriter and a rhythmic, finger-picking guitarist provide strong direction for the band, whose style varies from blues to folk to jazz to a song that's entirely about how they prefer their eggs cooked. Montbleau returns to his coffee-shop roots at Ashland Coffee & Tea Wednesday, July 23, at 8 p.m. $12-$17. 798-1702.