Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ray LaMontagne's Tonic For The Soul

If you're like me, listening to what passes for popular music is pretty depressing. I usually find solace from this empty brattle in a meticulously constructed playlist of classic rock from the usual suspects (Stones, Floyd and Zep of course), some Re Re (um, that's Aretha Franklin if you didn't know) and a few selections from this century's artists that rise above the superficial, cookie-cutter, styrofoam-packaged fray to wind up on my ipod or mix CD. One of these artists is Ray LaMontagne. LaMontagne's songs of romance, protest and loss provide a refreshing alternative to all who seek one. It's the raspy ache of his voice in songs like "Trouble," "Empty," and "Jolene" combine with the gentle yet urgent strum of the guitar in songs like "Forever My Friend," "A Falling Through," and "All the Wild Horses." Looking for some tunes to round out that mixtape for the car trip to Grandma's or just something for the commute to and from work, I suggest Brother Ray. His music is tonic for the soul. Drink up!

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