Ryan Hurtgen : Vocals, Guitar
Colin Mann : Keyboard, Bass, Vocals
Jackie Monzon : Drums

Rene Breton started when Ryan Hurtgen penned the surrealist short stories and subsequent songs for an immersive multimedia concept album. The musical and artistic project took the name Rene Breton from two surrealist writers whom Hurtgen admired, “Rene” Char and Andre “Breton.” Living then in Nashville, the cradle of country music, Hurtgen was looking to explore different musical paths and began shaping pieces around the prose he had written. Seeking to create a shared artistic experience, the project includes the listener in the journey through the music by having them read the stories and view the individual works of art that correspond to each musical track. The project grew wings, and the band Rene Breton was formed, culminating in the 2010 release and tour of their acclaimed album, Asleep In Green.

After the tour, came rest, and with that rest, came the next phase.  Hurtgen felt that Rene Breton’s fate no longer lay in the country music capital, but in the big city of Los Angeles.  Incubating in California, through continued exposure on KCRW, Rene Breton attracted talented L.A. based musicians Colin Mann (a physicist with his own custom hardware) and Jackie Monzon (drummer, formerly of the band Dios Malos). The newly formed trio brought new styles of sound engineering to the fresh songwriting. Their chemistry together engendered more songs. Colin’s synthesizers mixed delightfully with Ryan’s acoustically geared melodies, all knit together with Jackie’s hypnotic syncopations.

Rene Breton’s new album, Between City and Country, takes its name from several sources, both personal and universal. It represents a journey of body, heart, and mind. For Rene Breton, a journey from the country music southern metropolis of Nashville, to the wilderness adorned California countryside, and its urban jewel, Los Angeles.  For the materialist, a journey from the stimulating press of the city to the airy renewing country.  For the romantic spirit, a journey from the secure embrace of love to the freedom of solitude, through the deep forest of heartbreak.

The album is set to release in the spring of 2013 with performances to follow.


The West is a whole different America.  It is grand and wild and it is naked.  The wind is dry and you get the feeling that it has come a long and lonely way.  And long deep breaths as you stand on the cusp of the Pacific, can give you a sense of peace and emptiness.  My life back east, with all it’s trying, and all it’s effort now feels to me like another lifetime.  

We found ourselves as two people in love, between city and country.  The city offered us the complexities of people and satisfaction in commotion.  The country offered the stillness in each other.  Our love was true.  Yet those city demands coalesced. It was only the merest sensation of a sliver at first, increasing to a thorn, then driving home a wedge to tear us asunder.

Always I take with me a sacred night in the country, my love and I alone on a mountain, under the stars in the redwood wilderness of Oregon. We sat, there in the dark, with only the light of the campfire shining off the magnificent giant. We made love that night with simplicity. Two humans, fully naked, natural, clutching to each other for warmth in the cold air penetrating our tent. There was no time. There was no rush to orgasm. The deep dark woods of the Northwest opened a wilderness to search each other’s souls.