Next month Ray Lamontagne will release his 4th studio album. This time he seems armed with more than just his guitar and that raspy yet endearing voice of his. On August 17th, Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs will release God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise. Ray seems to have taken a new approach with this record. It appears that he wanted his backing band to have more of their fingerprints on the album. Not only is this his first record without his long-time collaborator/producer Ethan Johns, but he didn’t let his backing band (the Pariah Dogs who are listed on the album cover for the first time) hear the new songs until they day that they cut them.
I have to admit I was slightly disappointed with LaMontagne’s last effort, Gossip in the Grain, but I believe that we have yet to hear the best that this timeless troubadour has to offer. Ray recently told Rolling Stone that “I want to write music that will out live me. And I haven’t done it yet.” While I would disagree with that statement, I love to hear that he isn’t satisfied with what he’s given so far and it makes me all the more excited to hear not just this new record but the many that will assuredly follow.