Tuesday, February 23, 2010
An Instant Legend
I was recently introduced to the music of Ray LaMontagne, and thank God. This guy is one of my new favorite artists and one of the best singer/songwriters out there. I don't pretend to be a critic of great music, so I'll mainly let the music speak for itself.
But like any good artist, there's an interesting story behind the music. Born to a traveling mother and a violent musician father (how cliche) Ray found himself hiding from his parents and entertaining himself by reading and writing stories. He frequently got in trouble at school and he struggled to graduate.
Shortly after graduation he moved away from his family and started working 65 hour weeks at a shoe factory. Because of his father's past, he had no ambition to ever become a musician. It was at age 22 when he heard Stephen Stills' Treetop Flyer and had a musical epiphany. He quit he job and began writing songs. In 1996 he started renting studio space and recording his songs.
His personality is also quite interesting. He is deathly shy and avoids the spotlight as much as possible. He doesn't make music videos and personal interviews are few and far between. He has even been known to turn out the lights on stage while he plays to take the attention off of himself. It is all this that adds up his beautiful and soulful music.
This guy came onto the scene in 2004 with his first album Trouble, and had an instant classic with his single of the same name. He has since released two more albums, Till the Sun Turns Black, and Gossip in the Grain. Please do yourself a favor and check this guy out if you haven't...it's truly great stuff.
Below is a song from each album, but trust me, they're all great. Its a shame that we make millionaires out of rappers and pop stars and this guy is relatively unheard of. He should be way bigger than he is, but then again that's exactly what he doesn't want.
You Are the Best Thing