All of the above, however, is exactly what some purists have quibbled with: La Montagne or classic soul records, but to more experienced ears, they’re just calorie-free exercises in nostalgia. He may not have scaled the heights of the artists his music so strongly evokes, but La Montagne is a fine songwriter – and one who, as , but these 10 tracks find La Montagne squarely in his folk-soul wheelhouse, moving comfortably between midtempo burners and hushed, urgent ballads.
(On the sixth track, “Meg White,” he even flashes a sense of humor.) It won’t change your life, and it doesn’t deserve a spot next to the true classics of the genre, but is one of the most pleasurable listens that classic rock fans are going to find this fall, and it offers further proof that Ray La Montagne is a developing artist with a voice worth hearing – and if it’s a voice that it feels like we’ve heard before, so much the better.
Sousa reads poems from Church of Needles as well as a selection of diary entries written by Esther Small.
Though it wasn’t a major seller, it appealed to mothers-in-law and college kids alike, and for a few months, it seemed like RCA had lucked into the sort of crossover rock singer that wasn’t supposed to exist anymore. La Montagne’s sophomore release, 2006’s , scraped the Top 30 of Billboard’s Top Albums chart, but it didn’t register anywhere near the impact that its predecessor enjoyed; instead of building a slow, wide buzz, it peaked early and disappeared fast.
Though still beloved by the mp3-blog faithful, La Montagne seemed to lose some of that crossover momentum – probably thanks, at least in part, to the follow-up’s darker tone, which turned off anyone looking for more of the bucolic sounds of the debut.
"I'd much rather be playing songs than talking to people," he says.
It's not an entirely convincing claim, because if anything his on-stage demeanour is even worse.
One thing is certain, that given the consistency and vision La Montagne has shown on all three albums, punters are certain to follow him wherever he goes next.
You Are the Best Thing Ray La Montagne Let It Be Me Sarah I Still Care for You Winter Birds Meg White Hey Me, Hey Mama Henry Nearly Killed Me (It's a Shame) A Falling Through Gossip in the Grain To prevent your personal details being misused please do not put emails or phone numbers in questions.
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"How to get through every day, how to have a healthy life, mentally, emotionally, how to be a good person, how to learn to give love in order to feel love. It hasn't been an easy thing and I still haven't got it.
The set opens with the singer channeling his inner Memphis soul man on "You Are the Best Thing." Horns, strings, and a female backing chorus underscore La Montagne's heartfelt uptempo rasp that touches on Sam Cooke as much as it does Tim Buckley with a hook worthy of Stax/Volt.