STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
Singer/songwriter Ryan Montbleau is bracing himself for a possible flashback or two on April 24.
The 1999 Villanova University graduate, whose Facebook page has 21,000 likes, is playing a late night Friday CD release show with his band at the Ardmore Music Hall, sharing the stage with Spirit Family Reunion.
“When I was at college, it was called Brownie’s, and we’d get our college drinks on,” he said of the music club’s previous life.
The native Bostonian — who discovered he could write songs during his last semester at Villanova, went back home and took a job at the House of Blues in Harvard Square, then became a regular act at the former Bryn Mawr listening room The Point — is about to celebrate his sixth studio album, “Growing Light.” You can get an advance listen to the song “Never Gonna Be” at www.ryanmontbleau.com.
“We recorded the bulk of it in New Orleans. I think there’s a certain (emotional) depth to it,” he said, adding that the songs were written and recorded around the time several members of the original Ryan Montbleau Band departed to spend time with their families.
“Growing Light” also features a song inspired by the seminal ‘80s movie “Purple Rain,” titled “Pacing Like Prince.” “I wrote it almost as a hip-hop song,” Montbleau said of the process he went through writing the song using a keyboard and rhythm loops.
Some of Montbleau’s fans may be disappointed that songs like “Ghost” and “Hot Coffee in a Paper Cup” still have not been formally recorded. But because he’s an independent artist, he said, those songs could be released at any time, whether as a single, EP or part of an album.
Influenced by the likes of Martin Sexton, Paul Simon, Deb Talan of The Weepies, The Beatles and Stevie Wonder, Montbleau wrote the songs “Something Beautiful” and “One Night Only” on Trombone Shorty’s Grammy-nominated “Backatown.”
The band Montbleau is bringing to his old stomping grounds includes a group of backup singers from Boston called The Lady Parts.
His co-headliners, Spirit Family Reunion, are also promoting a new album. “There’s something different about them. I’m trying to reach out to them and sing some stuff with them,” he said.
IF YOU GO
What: Ryan Montbleau in concert.
When: 10 p.m. April 24.
Where: Ardmore Music Hall, 23 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore.
Tickets: $15 in advance, $20 at the door.
Info.: Call (610) 649-8389 or visit www.ardmoremusic.com.