During Ryan Montbleau's March 1 show at The Spot on Kirk, he told the audience that there was someone in the room who could play all of his songs better than he could. Later, he called to the stage 13-year-old Dylan Underwood, to show the crowd.
The boy, who lives with his family in Charlotte, North Carolina, has roots in Floyd. He was at The Spot that evening with his mother, Ananda Underwood. The Underwoods recently moved to Charlotte for father Brian Underwood's job.
Dylan discovered Montbleau through Spotify, and has learned multiple songs, even finger-style numbers including "Time & Again" and "Carrie," he said in a phone call from Charlotte. He also knows music by Elephant Revival's Daniel Rodriguez, Bob Dylan, The Beatles and Trevor Hall, he said.
He met Montbleau at Charlotte venue The Evening Muse, after his mom learned that he would be playing there. She said that Montbleau couldn't have been nicer, and when she found out that he was playing in Roanoke, she decided to bring Dylan and little brother Nicholas, 6. Dad stayed behind, to work, Ananda Underwood said.
"He’s very much the type, you guys have this opportunity. You should go," she said.
Montbleau surprised them all by asking Dylan to sit in.
"I almost didn’t want to do it because I was so nervous," Dylan said. "But my mom said, when a door opens, you’ve gotta walk through it."
He did, and the result is embedded here. The audience loved it, and so did Montbleau.
"You can't even have a drink now," Montbleau joked after he put his guitar back on. "If I just did that, I'd be like, Wooo!"
Ananda Underwood said that she appreciates "the amount of grace and love that has been shown to him by people who seem to really understand that, for him, this is music-based and not fame-based."