And the Pariah Dogs
God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise
Ray Lamontagne is a genius in the purest form of the word. His music transcends labels – his persona is low enough on the radar as to not invite the tabloids into his personal life yet his new disc – “God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise” somehow managed to debut at #3 on the charts this week.
He is more than a singer songwriter – he is a craftsman creating moods and sharing thoughts through impeccable lyric writing and a deft hand at creating a melody suited for his – the most lonesome and troubled voice this side of Roy Orbison.
He kicks off the new disc “God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise” with “Repo Man” a spicy cut that is perfectly manicured to his style yet unlike anything I have heard before from him. There is a little more mischief in his game than I have been aware of in the past.
The opening chords ring fairly aggressively and as the band works their way into the arrangement you feel yourself pulled along for the ride. The very earthy chugging-to-the-gate bluesy arrangement supports that uniquely perfect voice.
The humor weaves its way through the solid wall of sound. There are moments where his voice is textured with the smallest hint of a laugh.
Then right back to the fearlessl melancholy we’ve become accustomed to with “New York City is Killing Me.”
Throughout the 10 songs – the play is deliberate. While the arrangements may have come from some organic jam session – the recording is calculated and efficient. This is Americana at its finest.
“God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise” is the perfect introduction to Lamontagne and the Pariah Dogs. It is also a satisfying addition to any vital collection of music. Even the most seasoned Lamontagne fans will be excited by this disc.
Stand Out Tracks
New York City is Killing Me
Beg Steal or Borrow