LaMontagne at Prospect Park, July 12, 2006
|Birth name||Raymond Charles Jack LaMontagne|
June 18, 1973 |
Nashua, New Hampshire
|Genres||Folk, folk rock, folk blues, soul|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica|
|Martin D-35, Bourgeois Guitar Country Boy w/Sitka Top, D-150, Custom DS-260, Victoria Parlor models.|
Raymond "Ray" Charles Jack LaMontagne (//; born June 18, 1973) is an American singer-songwriter. LaMontagne has released four studio albums, Trouble, Till the Sun Turns Black, Gossip in the Grain and God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise. He was born in New Hampshire and was inspired to create music after hearing an album by Stephen Stills. Critics have compared LaMontagne's music to that of The Band, Van Morrison, Nick Drake, and Tim Buckley. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two children.
LaMontagne was born in Nashua, New Hampshire, in 1973, one of six children raised by his mother. In his early teens he lived in Morgan, Utah and was more interested in drawing images of Dungeons and Dragons than in his school work. After graduating from high school, LaMontagne moved to Lewiston, Maine and found work in a shoe factory.
1999 to 2005
LaMontagne was inspired to quit his job and begin a career as a singer-songwriter after listening to Stephen Stills' album Manassas. LaMontagne began performing in 1999, while maintaining a part time job as a tutor. In the summer of 1999, he recorded 10 songs for a demo album that was sent to various local music venues including Maine's Oddfellow Theater, where he was hired as an opening act for John Gorka and Jonathan Edwards.
A business executive introduced LaMontagne to Chrysalis Music Publishing and in 2004 LaMontagne recorded the album Trouble with producer Ethan Johns and sold it to RCA Records in the USA and Echo Records in the UK. The album featured performances by Sara Watkins and Jennifer Stills, daughter of musician Stephen Stills. The album sold over 250,000 copies in the USA and 500,000 worldwide. During a 2005 tour, LaMontagne performed on the TV show Austin City Limits.
An EP of LaMontagne's performance at the Bonnaroo Music Festival was released in 2005 and his song "All the Wild Horses" was part of the soundtrack for the TV series Rescue Me and the 2009 film The Boys Are Back. His song "Trouble" appeared in the TV series Alias and his song "Jolene" was heard in the credits of the 2010 film The Town. His song "Hold You in My Arms" was featured in the 2006 movie, She's The Man.
2006 to the present
LaMontagne's second album, Till the Sun Turns Black, was released in August 2006 and featured horn and string sections on several of the songs with Rachael Yamagata providing additional vocals on the song "Barfly". The album peaked at #28 on the Billboard 200 album chart, selling 28,000 copies in its first week of release. The album spawned the single, "Three More Days" and in 2006 LaMontagne performed on The Tonight Show.
The song "Till the Sun Turns Black" was featured on the television show "ER", and the songs "Lesson Learned" and "Within You" appeared on the CW drama "One Tree Hill". His song "Be Here Now" was heard on the trailer for the movie Away From Her, in the film 27 Dresses, on the TV shows Bones, Covert Affairs and Brothers and Sisters (Season 1).LaMontagne performed at KYSR's Lounge for Life charity concert on October 5, 2006 at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, California. He also auctioned off one of his guitars on eBay for its charity auction. Funds raised from the concert and auction went to breast cancer research.
LaMontagne released his third studio album, Gossip in the Grain on RCA Records in 2008, and it debuted at #3 on the Billboard Charts with 60,000 units sold. Working again with producer Ethan Johns, the album featured LaMontagne's touring band of Jennifer Condos on bass, Eric Heywood on guitar, and Ethan Johns on drums and guest vocals from singer/songwriter Leona Naess.
The song "You Are the Best Thing" was featured in the movie I Love You, Man and in the television series One Tree Hill. LaMontagne performed on Saturday Night Live in March 2009. The song "Sarah" and "I Still Care For You" appeared on the television series House. His song "Let it be Me" was featured on the television series Parenthood and was included on the Parenthood soundtrack in 2010. It was also used in an episode entitled "JJ", from the sixth season of Criminal Minds (TV series).
LaMontagne's self produced studio album, God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise (Ray Lamontagne and the Pariah Dogs), was released in August 2010. In December 2010, LaMontagne received Grammy nominations and won the award for Best Contemporary Folk Album.
In August 2010, he performed at a Nashville, TN, charity event to raise money for victims of a local flood. The song, "Empty", appeared on an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent in 2010 and was heard during the film credits for the movie The Conspirator. It also appeared in Tony Kaye's film Detachment in 2011, released in the US in 2012. LaMontagne performed on the program Live from Abbey Road in October 2006.. The New England native was featured on VH1 Storytellers in 2011. He shared a story of how he had a very cherished and expensive guitar that was destroyed by his wife when he got back from a tour. That made him reconsider his priorities.
In 2011 Ray sang a duet with Irish singer Lisa Hannigan on the song "O Sleep", one of the tracks from her Choice Music Award-nominated album, Passenger.
LaMontagne has a unique vocal style, which he says is created by singing through his gut instead of through his nose. He cites Stephen Stills, Richard Manuel, and Rick Danko as strong musical influences while critics have compared LaMontagne's music to that of The Band, Van Morrison, Nick Drake, and Tim Buckley.
For his debut album, LaMontagne won four awards, including three Boston Music Awards (Best Male Singer/Songwriter, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year) and an XM Nation Music Award for Acoustic Rock Artist of the Year. LaMontagne has received a nomination from the Pollstar Concert Industry Awards for Best New Touring Artist, the BRIT Awards for International Breakthrough Act, the MOJO Awards for Best New Act, and was given the title of Best Voice in 2006 by Esquire.
In December 2010, LaMontagne received two Grammy nominations and won the award for Best Contemporary Folk Album.
- Trouble (September 14, 2004)
- Till the Sun Turns Black (August 29, 2006)
- Gossip in the Grain (October 14, 2008)
- God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise (August 17, 2010)
- Fretbase, Ray Lamontagne's Guitar - The Martin D-35
- Pantheon Guitars
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- Official U.S. website, requires Adobe Flash plugin
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- Ray Lamontagne on Myspace
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- Photos of Ray LaMontagne at the Boston Opera House on October 9th Exploit Boston!
- Ray LaMontagne on PBS NewsHour's Art Beat, 8/17/10