Heavy on the Vine


Credit Ryan Montbleau with the ability to sound folksy without being folk-y. His down-home shuffles belie an uptown sound, and given his casual vocals and the feast of fiddles that weave their way into the mix, Montbleau’s breezy presentation provides a jam-band feel without that genre’s tendency toward overindulgence. Take the low-key “Slippery Road,” a pleasing paean to procrastination, the jaunty reggae rhythms of “Songbird” and the engaging instrumental “Hands,” which add diversity while hewing to a tuneful template.
Producer Martin Sexton’s presence behind the board helps to keep Heavy on the Vine easy on the ear. “I want to run up every mountain/I want to wade through every ocean,” Montbleau declares on “Chariot (I Know),” and sounds as if he could well do it.

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