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God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise

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Editors’ Notes

With a professional alt-country backing group behind him, credited as the Pariah Dogs, Ray LaMontagne might be expected to rock it out a bit more on his fourth studio album, 2010’s God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise. And for a few cuts --  “Repo Man,” “Devil’s In the Jukebox — drummer Jay Bellerose and bassist Jennifer Condos lead LaMontagne to huskier, friskier terrain. But the introspective singer-songwriter doesn’t like to settle with too much commotion. Greg Leisz steps up on pedal steel for the world-weary “New York City’s Killing Me” and you can imagine the skidmarks in the road as LaMontagne floors it back to his country home. He’s at his best when his voice is given the most room to breathe. The old-time country melody behind “Old Before Your Time,” the whispered desperation behind the exquisite “Like Rock & Roll and Radio” and the somber finality of “This Love Is Over” make LaMontagne a broken soul singer who’s got Jesse Winchester and Van Morrison on his mind. With so many fine albums to his name, it’s difficult to declare any album his best, but LaMontagne’s holding his own, if not getting better all the time.

Customer Reviews

Away from the hustle and bustle...

Ray Lamontagne's brand of folk is much appreciated in a day and age where hip hop and pop music dominate the charts. Along with his talented touring band, The Pariah Dogs, Lamontagne excursed into the peace and quiet of rural Massachusetts to craft God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise, his fourth studio album. And the album has a certain woodlands inspiration to it that evokes a strong sense of authenticity, reminding us all that our surroundings often influence us profoundly. As a matter of fact, the second track, "New York City's Killing Me" sends the same message as Lamontagne laments a more peaceful time in a world away from the concrete and the bright lights. Though conveyed beautifully through resonant lyrics, the song's heavy emphasis on steel guitar perfectly encapsulates a distinct feeling of mourning like only that instrument can. The album is a brand of folksy country infused with Blues elements, yet it never strays from familiar company in that respect as artists have long incorporated elements of each style into their own music. But few do it as effectively and seemingly effortlessly as Ray Lamontagne, as evidenced in the contrast between tracks like "Like Rock & Roll Radio" and "Devil's in the Jukebox". The aforementioned cut is a slow burn, as tender and wispy as any folk song, while the latter is a bluesy and energetic foot stomper. With God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise, Ray Lamontagne and The Pariah Dogs have created cohesion while at the same time avoiding the trap of one song sounding exactly like the next, as we so often see on albums of this nature. This is an album that I would recommend to any fan of folk, country, and blues. This is an outstanding record.

Good album

For anyone out there who's been a fan of Ray Lamontagne, I recommend this album. It's definitely different than his early stuff, but it's really good. I find it to be somewhere between Sun Turns Black, and Gossip in the Grain.

Old Before Your Time is a really well written song. I've had it on repeat since downloading the album. I swear, it's my life story. ;)

Anyway, just buy the album and enjoy some new Ray.

Lovin' it!

This album sounds like a return for Ray back to his 'Acre of Land' and 'One Lonesome Saddle' days - the mountain/country lyrics and themes run right back to his beginnings as a songwriter. The sound is polished and the band is phenomenal - a must have for any music fan!

Biography

Born: June 18, 1973 in Nashua, NH

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

With a voice that recalls a huskier, sandpapery version of Van Morrison and Tim Buckley, Ray LaMontagne joins such artists as Iron & Wine in creating folk songs that are alternately lush and intimately earthy. The songwriter was born in Nashua, New Hampshire in 1973; his parents split up shortly after his birth, and his mother began a pattern of moving her six children to any locale that could offer her employment and housing. As a result, LaMontagne grew up as the perennial new kid in school...
Full bio
God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise, Ray LaMontagne
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