Ray LaMontagne Re-visited

27 Mar

Last June, I did a post on Live From Abbey Road, on The Sundance Channel and the fact that Ray LaMontagne was one of the sessions. I happened to be exploring and came across Ray’s session again. Ray is akin to Thursday to me so it just seemed right for a Thursday post. You know, latter part of the week so you’re counting down to the weekend with much anticipation, but still in work mode enough that you can’t relax just yet.

Ole Ray is still whack but I’m drawn to him like a moth to a flame. What is it about his Ted Kacynzki manner that I like so much? This interview is a prime example of the dichotomy that is Ray LaMontagne.

Perhaps it’s his obvious vulnerability or maybe it’s just his passion of the music. It could be that he’s just so unpretentious. Whatever it is, I keep coming back.

Hold You in My Arms

I particularly like this performance of Trouble:

From the BBC Four Sessions performance….


Three More Days

Forever My Friend on Letterman:

However, likely my most favorite Ray tune is Shelter:

Happy Thursday, Ray. Oh, and you too, guys.


Posted by on March 27, 2008 in acoustic, ray lamontagne


10 responses to “Ray LaMontagne Re-visited

  1. Bama

    March 27, 2008 at 10:05 am

    Okay, true confession time:

    Waaay back when we all were chillin’ at The Great Wizard’s blog…everyone was always like, “Ray LM this and Ray LM that” and “Ray LM is sooo awesome” and whatnot. And my rebellious little soul decided that Ray LM was not my cup of tea….mainly because I was raging against the machine that was “what everyone else likes”….and by “everyone” I mean…everyone in that community.

    I was waaaay too cool.

    NOW, I see the error of my ways. NOW, Ray LaMontagne is the love of my life. The problem is that his music hurts to listen to. It drags up feelings/emotions that I don’t like to stir. I mean, it’s hard out here for a pimp…and by “pimp” I mean, lonely woman.

    So, I have to limit him…because I connect so deeply to his music (which is why I often listen to things that don’t hurt)…I can actually become very blue with Ray. He’s a heartbreaker for sure.

    So, my point is: I love Ray LaMontagne.

  2. music maven

    March 27, 2008 at 10:29 am

    I get you Bama. I love the “ragin’ against the machine”. I tried not to like Ray for just that reason. But something kept pulling me backwards.

    And see, maybe it’s the manic side of me but alot of music that I like and connect to provides a sadness or longing but that’s what I like about it. While it makes me feel sad or lonely or blue during the song, the next upbeat, jovial song makes me soar with excitement.

    I know, I need Paxil.

  3. shrewspeaks

    March 27, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Oh Bama…girl how I adore you.

    I must say I heard Ray before the Wizard mentioned him…so I avoided the avoidance. I liken Ray’s music to Cat Stevens in someways…so spiritual, more anguished but spiritual. He is a weird little dude…but I am over the moon that he is in the studio recording CD no.3…and perhaps I will see him live one day. He is up there on the MUST see list.

    And Bama…just mix in a little Jack Johnson “Banana Pancakes” and the world will balance for ya.

  4. AH

    March 27, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Glad you revisited RM, for some reason he had fallen off my playlist rotation and I was one of the early “everyones.” Was intrigued by his need to express his personal pain even though doing that caused him even more pain – does that make any sense ? And maybe it had to do with once living in Lewiston, Maine – knowing a little of what the dying days of the shoe industry was doing to that community – and feeling his music was very appropriate in a broader context to where he was at the time.
    Have always said that I need a dose of Buffett’s party songs after listening to one of Ray’s albums – kidding – mostly.
    Curious as to others thoughts on his ‘Trouble’ album vs ‘Till the Sun Turns Black’.

  5. music maven

    March 27, 2008 at 11:24 am

    If you haven’t watched the interview above, you really should. It’s painful to watch but it gives you a good sense of Ray. Seeing his awkwardness gives you a much better idea of who he is than just listening to an interview.

    AH, it’s funny you should ask. I think we had a big conversation about this back at Monkbot, but in general, I think that Trouble was full of pain and angst while ‘Til the Sun Turns Black “felt” more uplifting or at least with hope. I know that he went through a pretty painful divorce and the latter was done after. Trouble likely was in the midst of all of HIS trouble. ‘Til the Sun Turns Black still has some melancholy tracks but he doesn’t sound as melancholy. At least, to me.

    I’m anxious to see what the next CD brings as he’s well into recovery from all his “trouble”, now. Remember, however, that he’s a Ray Charles disciple and many of RC’s most memorable tunes are solitude and sorrow.

  6. Bama

    March 27, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Shrew- Thanks for the pancakes! Ha!

    MM- So, we are alike in our rebellion? Verrry cool!

    I do LOVE music I can connect with…but have a hard time pulling myself out of a funk…so I have to be careful. I usually listen to him on my drive home from work…b/c I can listen intently…but then get out of the car and go on about my day.

    He says at the beginning of the “Hold You In My Arms” video (I think) that he doesn’t understand this world…why we go do our robot jobs and zone out in front of the tv for hours. I can tell you why I do: Because I have the same emotions that he does…but I don’t have any way to express them…so I have to repress them. Work, tv, music, drinking, eating, the Internetz….those all provide escape for me. Ray is lucky beyond belief to be able to pour out his feelings into words and music. I wish I could tell him that…then maybe he’d understand a little.

  7. music maven

    March 27, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Bama, so true…so true.

    It’s easy for an artist to be so judgemental to the routines of “everyday” folk. Even struggling musicians don’t have that “rut” because they are getting by or making a living by doing something they have passion for and that allows their expression of pain, happiness, joy, etc. Besides, their lifestyle is generally not 9 to 5.

    Most of us don’t have that opportunity, so we occupy our time with things that fill the void. Some of those things can be productive, like the Interets :), but alot of the routine is out of comfort for the familiar.

    I think Ray comes from a very unusual background where his family life was VERY atypical, in that they were minimalist. They subsisted on very little and were basically modern day hippies (NTTAWWT). It is ironic, however, that he has stated that much of his pain came from growing up that way, yet he is baffled by the every day family life of “routine”, including zoning out in front of the TV or Internet.

    Perhaps if Ray would have been one of those mindless robots, he would have been a happier child and adult. He may also, however, never developed his talent from that childhood pain. I think the key is always “everything in moderation.”

    Or, maybe he should just Lighten up, Francis.”

  8. Bama

    March 27, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    MM-Very good analysis of the sitcheeation! I guess I’m a little jellis of those that get to find their bliss in their work!!

  9. Shrewspeaks

    March 27, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Bama…is he finding his bliss or working out his troubles?

  10. jenfera

    March 27, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    One of my favorite Gray Charles memories is the night that Gray posted very late a link to a live broadcast of Ray’s show in Washington, DC, I believe. I was still in the Gray Charles obsessive phase and I was checking the site one more time that day and got the link and listened to this amazing live broadcast online. I don’t always love Ray’s studio tracks but he is stunning live, even if it is only sort of live by remote on the interenet.

    p.s. – hi, bama! Nice to see you here!


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