CSN Folk Classic Revisited – Tall Heights x Ryan Montbleau: Helplessly Hoping
Ryan Montbleau & Tall Heights are no strangers to success, having collaborated together already on a cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” that, since 2014, has been streamed over 60 million times. They are back with another beautiful reinvention of an established masterpiece, this time with a gorgeous rendition of the well-loved “Helplessly Hoping,” written by Crosby, Stills & Nash.
These three artists met at an ‘Open Mic Throwdown’ in Cambridge almost 10 years ago, where Ryan Montbleau & Tall Heights hit it off immediately and soon began touring together frequently. Ryan Montbleau is a well-known and much-beloved indie folk artist in his native Massachusetts, who has worked with Martin Sexton, Trombone Shorty, and Galactic, among many others. Tall Heights have relentlessly built a career from the ground up, starting as buskers on the streets of Boston and now performing in packed venues across North America, Europe, and beyond. For a new generation of indie folk veterans, with an original release date in May of 1969, “Helplessly Hoping” continues to set the standard for how powerful a simple combination of heartfelt lyricism and three-part harmony can be. More than 50 years later, this song is as relevant as it ever was, precisely because modern folk torchbearers like Tall Heights and Ryan Montbleau are eager to give it new life. Their cover of this summer-of-love classic sparkles with passionate warmth, glowing guitars, and delicate strings, while their harmonies feel as natural and effortless as the original.
“Helplessly Hoping” is a testament to the friendship of Ryan Montbleau & Tall Heights, as well as their continuing musical journey, and feels extra relevant in this moment of social distancing: all we can do is helplessly hope. We’re alone and we’re for each other.