For Higher is partly an experiment to push Montbleau out of his comfort zone: two days to record most of it, with a couple of vocals and horns overdubbed later. Most of the songs are Montbleau and the musicians playing live in the studio. "That was sort of a source of anxiety," says Montbleau, "because the way that we were doing it was so different for me. I see myself in a lot of ways as this folk guy."

Montbleau says the band is already planning a new album, and playing weekend gigs around the Northeast to allow everyone some time at home. "In some ways, I feel like I might be at this sort of breaking point after 10 years of just hustling, of like just trying to calm it down a little bit so I can keep going." Montbleau knows he's risen to a level a lot of bands would kill to reach, but he also knows he can't afford to get too comfortable. "People congratulate me on my success and I'm just like, what? I don't know. It's weird. A kind of indicator that, okay, I guess I must be doing something right."

RYAN MONTBLEAU BAND + SARAH BORGES + THE PRIMITIVE FIASCO | Rock and Blues Concert Cruises @ Bay State Cruises, 200 Seaport Blvd, Boston | June 23 @ 7 pm | 21+ | $33 | rockandbluescruise.com 

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