Monday, August 10, 2009

Ray LaMontagne

This week’s artist was introduced to me when my boss was blasting him from his office. I immediately popped my head through the door and had one of those, “Umm, who is this???” moments. “Ray LaMontagne,” he said and I immediate pursued buying the album that was the office soundtrack for the day. Ray LaMontagne’s first album, Trouble was my first introduction to his music and have become an even bigger fan after hearing some of the tracks off his more recent two albums, When The Sun Turns Black and Gossip In The Grain.

Two of my favorite tracks are off LaMontagne’s second album, When The Sun Turns Black which is his darker album (if you can't tell by the title) and is rooted in his troubled past. LaMontagne grew up with a violent father who was a musician who abandoned the family and led Ray to shy away from music until much later in life when he was inspired by a Stephen Stills song (as in Crosby, Stills and Nash). LaMontagne was working 65 hours at a shoe factory when he was inspired by that music and began working on his singing in private without anyone knowing. He used a lot of the emotion of his rough past in his music creating some dark and beautiful Melodies in “Be Here Now” and “Lesson Learned.” One would think that this dark music would put me in a melancholy mood but it actually makes me happy. Maybe it’s the fact that music can be such a great outlet and we can take the messes I our past and turn them into something good in music and art. Or maybe I’m just weird that way.

LaMontagne currently lives in Maine with his wife and two children and while he is not the most lively of people (watch an interview and you’ll see what I mean) his music is where he really comes to life. He has had such artists as Sara Watkins from Nicklecreek and Rachael Yamagata contribute on his albums. His most recent album, Gossip In The Grain, released last fall and has a much happier tone then his previous album (then again I like that deep, dark, emo stuff) and a little more light-hearted. All of his albums are worth trying out and you can experience for yourself the many sides to Ray LaMontagne.

Hope you enjoyed this weeks artist. Please let me know what you think as well as any artists you think I might like to feature.


Beth said...

It was weird, I had to open just this entry to leave a comment...maybe it's my computer? Anyway, I really like the new artist :o) Also, wanted to remind you of the name: Monk and Neagle...maybe you'll be a fan of more than one of their songs :o) Love this blog...I like pulling it up and listening to the playlist while I unpack.

lindsey hutchinson said...

Mary, I feel honored to know you. Loving this blog! Thanks. Linz