Monday, October 20, 2008

Bacchanalian Mondays: Ray LaMontagne

Ray LaMontagne has to be one of the most mysterious celebrities that's become famous lately. It's said that singer-songwriter was inspired to pursue a musical career when he heard a Stephen Stills song in the early morning on his way to work at a shoe factory in Lewiston, Maine. He decided to quit his job, and in 1999 he went on tour, but he still worked as a carpenter on the side.

With his wife, two children and his heavy heart, Mr. LaMontagne (we're not on a first-name basis) doesn't really strike me as someone who does a lot of partying, but my curiosity is so piqued about him.

A skittish artist, he sometimes performs his concert in the dark to separate himself from the audience. And look at that beard. So reticent and enigmatic. I want one.

In his Oct. 17 article in the Times, Pete Paphides explored LaMontagne's success and style. Check it out. He tells the story much better than I could ever hope to:
"The very act of singing – a tender blues rasp of exquisite world-weariness – seems to make him appear. And sure enough, when he stops singing, he is barely there at all. If the song is anything to go by – it’s a hushed paean to nature going about its business, oblivious to human eyes – perhaps the 35-year-old LaMontagne seems that way to the animals too.

...But the truth is that LaMontagne’s popularity presents a paradox that he has yet to untangle. His crippling introversion is what lends his broken-winged folk-soul its power."
LaMontagne's third album, "Gossip in the Grain," was released on Oct. 14. He's playing at the Uptown in Kansas City tomorrow evening, and I wish I were going.


Christine said...

I just wrote a blog about Ray earlier this week. He's great. I wish I was going to the concert tomorrow too. Glad that you appreciate him as well.

jeff said...

im listening to him right now. :)

Molly Shameless et LoLita said...

well it just so happened that I was at the concert. and it was wonderful. true to form he didn't speak at all except for quiet thank yous. even more strange was that when he wasn't singing, even during a song, the lights on him would go dark.

and he was barefoot.