Ray Lamontagne's new CD, Gossip in the Grain, is due this October. If you haven't heard of him, or heard him - imagine Neil Young's acoustic music mixed with the raw, naked expression of early Ray Charles and Otis Redding. Some of his songs remind me of Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks - an album so raw it is almost embarrassing to listen to. His first release, Trouble contains some of the most powerful music I have heard in years. In a sane world, he would be a superstar. From that first release, here he is on Letterman, doing "Forever My Friend". As great as this song is, it should be said that there isn't a weak song on that first release, or his second, Until The Sun Turns Black, either. The quality of the song-writing, the arrangements, even the song order - this is the way music should be presented.
God Bless you, Ray, because you are one of those rare gifts to the world.