22 August 2008


After all the glory of the 80s in the last few posts (yeah, Elvis is still going strong, but you get what I mean) I figured it was time for something a little more contemporary.

Ray LaMontagne has been a bit of a blog darling for the last couple of years, so there’s a good chance you’re not going to find anything new here. Maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ve stumbled across something you don’t already have.

For the uninitiated, Ray is a folksy singer / songwriter from Maine. He’s only been recording professionally for a few years. He’s released two albums to date, with a new one on the way in October.

His vocal delivery is often low-key, in keeping with his somewhat shy personality. The music has often brought to my mind Moondance-era Van Morrison, or Nick Drake. Particularly on the first album. The second album had a bit more of a blues feel.

If you haven’t heard him, give “Trouble” a try. The album version is better than the remix presented here, but it will give you a decent idea of what he’s like. If you find that you like it, both his albums come with the absolute highest recommendation I can give. Seriously. And that’s coming from a music snob.

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Ray LaMontagne with Jools Holland‘s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra - “Three More Days” (live) Recorded on the British TV show, Later with Jools Holland. Original is on Til the Sun Turns Black.
Ray LaMontagne - “Crazy” (Gnarls Barkley cover) Possibly the most blogged track of 2006. If you’ve been a fan for very long, you’ve already heard this. Released as the b-side of “How Come”.
Ray LaMontagne - “Heaven Is a Honky Tonk” (live) Recoded at the Austin City Limits Music Festival.
Ray LaMontagne - “Hold You In My Arms” Recorded live in the studio at Abbey Road. Original is on Trouble.
Ray LaMontagne and Damien Rice - “To Love Somebody” (live Bee Gees cover) Another oft - blogged track. Recorded on a French TV show.
Ray LaMontagne - “Trouble” (New Radio Mix) A fuller sound than the sparser album version. As I mentioned before, though, I prefer the album version. You can probably guess which album it’s on.
Ray LaMontagne - “You Should Belong To Me” (live) My favorite unreleased song. Recorded in London in November of 2004. I wish he’d put out a studio version.
Ray LaMontagne - “Still Can’t Feel the Gin” Several bootleg albums can be found of demos Ray recorded before being signed. This is from one called Acre of Land.
Ray LaMontagne - “Hobo Blues” From another bootleg, called One Lonesome Saddle.

Ray LaMontagne discography:

Trouble, 2004 (buy)
Til the Sun Turns Black, 2006 (buy)
Gossip In the Grain, 2008 (preorder)