Imagine a guy whose singing voice fairly resemblances Stevie Wonder’s. Throw in five additional musicians. Pepper in elements of blues, folk and Americana. Then dice it up. Spill it onto a concert stage and you’ll get what’s known as the Ryan Montbleau Band.
The band, of Boston, Mass., will perform at the World Café Live at the Queen on Friday. They’ll share the bill with singer Sarah Borges, also of Massachusetts.
IF YOU GO
WHAT Ryan Montbleau Band
WHEN 8 p.m., Friday, April 13
WHERE The Queen, 500 N. Market St., Wilmington
COST $15 advance tickets; $18 day of tickets
Montbleau didn't start singing and playing guitar in earnest until he was in college at Villanova University. Later, working at the House of Blues in Boston, he began playing solo sets there as a warm-up act. His band came together naturally, over time, planting strong roots in coffee shops, folk venues and rock clubs before converting audiences on an outdoor festival circuit that now stretches across the country.
Through word of mouth and repeat visits, the band has built a devoted following from the Northeast to Chicago, Ill., Seattle, Wash., and Austin, Texas.
A few cuts on the band’s new album “For Higher,” which includes the playful stomp of “Deadset” or “Head Above Water,” freshly peppered with horns, were already part of the Ryan Montbleau Band's ever-growing repertoire. But the majority, including four handpicked cover tunes — nuggets from Bill Withers, Curtis Mayfield, the late Muscle Shoals guitarist Eddie Hinton and more — surprisingly came together spontaneously, with little prep work.