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John Mayer Hearts Ray LaMontagne

01 Nov

Well, whaddaya know….ole Johnny Boy himself has “discovered” Ray LaMontagne.  And I quote:

Ray LaMontagne is as brilliant as any artist that has ever lived.
And he’s getting better; tighter, more focused, more self-assured.

That’s pretty high praise coming from the Music Messiah.  Actually, Ray opened for him at The Fillmore in 2005, so John has known of Ray for a while now.  But just recently, John decided to blog about Ray L. recently and tried to explain Ray’s “essence” by creating an iTune’s iMix to showcase Ray’s obvious talent and compel others to get “caught up” on Ray.  With baited breath, I clicked into iTunes to check out what Ray song’s that JOHN MAYER thought captured Ray.

When you click here, you will see that John lists three songs (although he mentions six in the narrative) that he feels define who Ray LaMontagne is, musicwise.  If you’re too lazy to click, here they are:

  Trouble

  Jolene

  Shelter

Wow, JM, you really dug deep for those.  Aren’t these all ones that have been on TV or in the movies?  While I give John props for the iMix thing, I don’t think those three songs capture the multi-facetedness of Ray LaMontagne.  While I think that visuals like YouTube vids give a better glimpse of the complexities of RL, I am intrigued by the whole iMix thing and thought that it would be fun to create a Ray LaMontagne MusicMaven iMix that I think better captures the essence, range and profound talent of this prolific artist.

 MusicMaven’s Essence of Ray iMix

Problem with iTunes, however, is that it’s not definitive.  YouTube is much more broad in terms of available performances.  Like, how can you explain the essence of Ray without these:

  Crazy

  To Love Somebody  (with Damien Rice)

  Crazy Dreamers

And, there are so many more…

I do agree with John, however, that Ray is really starting to come into his own.  His latest CD, Gossip in the Grain, is markedly more upbeat than Trouble, and ‘Til the Sun Turns Black.  However, in Ray’s initial, self-produced CD, One Lonesome Saddle, includes some really good stuff, with a spectacular old-time religion track of Shuckin’ the Corn, he shows that even when he first started out, he had diversity in his music and passion in his heart.

IvoryHut had a good piece on Gossip in the Grain a while back that includes the entire track listing, etc.  I have to say that my favorite track from the new CD is You Are the Best Thing:

Absolutely marvelous.  Movin’, groovin’, and definitely NOT Country, Ivory.  Ray’s music covers so many genres, that he’s hard to “label”.  However, give it a shot.  Give me a genre label for Ray’s music…like “Diversified Soul” or “Angst Funk”.

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4 Comments

Posted by on November 1, 2008 in ipod, iTunes, John Mayer, ray lamontagne

 

Tags: , ,

4 responses to “John Mayer Hearts Ray LaMontagne

  1. ivoryhut

    November 1, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Aaah. Nothing like some Ray goodness when you’re bored out of your mind and confined to the bed.

    He used to have the entire cd on his MySpace page, but now they only have three tracks listed. Still, they’re great tracks. ‘Let It Be Me’ is really growing on me.

    I have to add that “Empty” is one of my all-time favorite Ray songs. Ugh. The things that tune and those lyrics stir in me. As a friend of mine says, it’s stinkin’ awesome. (That entire BBC special was amazing.)

     
  2. huckleberryfriend

    November 1, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    I bought Gossip in the Grain when it was released and like it.

    The only problem is the unreadable song lyrics insert.

     
  3. colette

    November 1, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    Thanks for catching me up with Mr. LaMontagne. Interesting that some critics are grousing about the new album because it’s so different. But I don’t really think it is — he’s just shaking up, and in a good way. And he’s way high on the record charts — a victory for Mr. LaM, but also a triumph for GOOD SONGWRITING.

    Angst funk! I love that label. When I saw Ray in concert last year he was so paralytically shy he said nothing until the very end of the concert. But he sounded great live.

    Now I’m trying to think who else might apply to that Angst Funk genre!

     
  4. tandjam

    November 11, 2008 at 10:07 am

    I love the new album. Talk about multi-faceted! He really is growing and getting better and better. “Let It Be Me” is my favorite track, but only by a slim margin over about 6 other songs on the album. Just a brilliant album, imo. “Winter Birds” is amazingly beautiful. “Meg White” is…dare I say it…fun! “Henry Almost Killed Me” rocks hard. “You Are The Best Thing” is an instant classic.

     

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