Artists & Entertainers
In Intimate Settings
10 July Tuesday

Tall Heights and Ryan Montbleau

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Getting there is half the fun, as the old saying goes, but the journey is really the whole point for Boston electrofolk duo Tall Heights. Singer/guitarist Tim Harrington and singer/cellist Paul Wright know where they’ve been, and where they want to go. As for the route, well, “we’re just mapping it out as we take it, day by day,” says Harrington.

They’ve reached their biggest junction so far — Neptune, out now, is Tall Heights’ first album for Sony Music Masterworks, and the latest step in the ongoing evolution of their sound and style. Harrington and Wright formed Tall Heights in 2010, keeping their songs stripped down to their essential elements, in part, to make it simpler to perform on the streets of Boston.

The band’s broadening sound came from the musicians’ conscious effort to push themselves, and each other, to create in new ways. By relying on a few core elements at the start, the duo learned to make the most of their minimalist set-up. “It taught us to be lean and mean and effective with just two voices and two instruments,” Harrington says. “It made us consider vocal tone and the way voices can mesh and interact.”

 

Ryan Montbleau has been an acclaimed singer, songwriter, and bandleader for more than a decade, but with his new album, I Was Just Leaving the New England-based artist has truly arrived. Contemplative and richly emotive, the album offers a glimpse into the often-lonesome life of the relentlessly traveling troubadour, a strikingly single-minded existence too often clouded by the blur of constant motion. Montbleau has been among America’s finest songwriters and performers, earning national attention and a fervent fan following with songs like “75 and Sunny” and his breakthrough cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” the latter a Spotify smash with total streams now in excess of 14 million. I Was Just Leaving marks a singular milestone for Ryan Montbleau, the moment in which this exceptional singer, songwriter, and performer has blossomed into a fully matured artist.