Friday, December 12, 2008

2008 Top-20 Countdown - No.9

Ray La Montagne - Gossip In The Grain

Troubadour extraordinaire, Ray La Montagne almost did not become a musician: having been raised with a runaway musician father, and listening stories about him made him refrain from any activity connected to music until, legend has it, he heard Stephen Stills singing "Treetop Flyer" on the radio. He has never looked back since.
"Gossip In The Grain" is his third studio album (he has been recording since 2004). Particularly known for his raspy voice, he puts it to great use here, from the soul-filled opening track "You Are The Best Thing" (a staple in my play-list) till its soft bookend "Gossip In The Grain" alongside Leona Naess (she's on two more tracks and opens his concerts as a support act). The album, a mixture of strings, acoustic guitar and brass, sounds more like a classic rock album, of the kind that big names did in the early 70s - like, say, Van Morrison. And although the opening track could fit nicely into any old Motown release, he does not do a complete about-turn from his previous work. His characteristic melancholy style is present here too, as in his previous work - "Sarah", named for his wife, is a brilliant example of it. "Winter Birds" is almost devoid of any instrument save his soft grainy voice against some acoustic guitar strums., resulting in maybe the most beautiful song of the entire album - it reminds me of Joni Mitchell's Hejira days. But then he starts being playful, almost naughty: writing a love song to Meg White from White Stripes, purposefully opening with a variation their single's "Conquest" melody. This is followed by a blues grass track "Hey Me Hey Mamma" - banjo and brass playing off against each other. Hitting Billboard's no.3 in the album charts and i-tunes no.1, both on it's first week of release, this is one album you should not miss.


  1. Anonymous12:08 pm

    καλημέρα! δεν μπορώ να βρω το ποστ σου, μήπως μπορείς να με βοηθήσεις;

  2. καλημέρα! Είναι εδώ!

  3. Τώρα εγώ αυτόν γιατί τον προσπέρασα; Δεν μπορώ να καταλάβω. Πάω να ψάξω τα κιτάπια μου.