Musical honesty: Ray LaMontagne

As someone who is crazy-nuts for passion and honesty in music (and in people, generally), I feel compelled to share this video with you.

Facebook friends may remember me going wild about the album God Willin’ and the Creek Don’t Rise when I first heard it. If you’re familiar with Ray LaMontagne, you already know what I’m talking about and you’ve probably already pushed the play button, eager to experience the beauty of Ray.

If you’ve never heard Ray, well, you’re in for a treat. I’m pretty much opposed to categorizing most music into genres, so I’ll leave that up to you to decide, should you care to. What I hear are lyrics that tell human stories beautifully, loaded with concrete images and simple, raw honesty; beautiful instrumentation—the pedal steel and lap steel make me want to cry (for example, in the title track that starts at the 13-minute mark of the video); and a distinct voice for which I have no words. It has to be heard to be believed.

Take some time (a wonderful 55 minutes) to watch Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs bring artistic honesty and passion to Letterman’s stage:

If you like what you see and hear, check out Ray’s VH1 Storytellers show on June 10, to get to know Ray a bit better. You can be sure I’ll be recording that one.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, the Letterman video is no longer available, so if you missed it, I am truly sorry. Good news though: Here’s a link to the song he closed with when I saw him at Merriweather in  September 2011: “Like Rock & Roll and Radio.”  (And which left me with tears running down my face.) Like what you hear? Keep going through the clips from the VH1 Storytellers show!


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