The new Ray Lamontagne album "God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise" is amazing.
Starts off hard and fast and then smooths it out for the long ride. Somehow I lucked out and got a digital download from amazon yesterday for $2.99 for the whole album! Today it looks like it's back up to $7.99 for the CD and $10.99 for the download (?). Backwards if you ask me, but still worth it.
I went to the gym with expectations of the album being a little more upbeat than his previous records, "Trouble" and "'Til the Sun Turns Black," however after the first track, you get right back to the familiar crooning of Lamontagne's notoriety. This isn't to say I wasn't disappointed. I actually had an awesome workout , fueled by the intensity of the lyrics and the passion with which the Pariah Dogs play their music. Notable tracks include the heavily metaphor laden Repo Man, the powerful story told in Like Rock & Roll and Radio, and the finale track Devil's in the Jukebox, which focuses heavily on two of my favorite instruments: the harmonica and the pedal steel guitar. It also picks the pace back up for a nice little outro that leaves you thinking about the rest of the stories you just heard
While the album is on the folk/country tip that most people don't exactly list as their "go-to" music, I think anyone heading out on a decent road trip to 'wherever' would be hard pressed to find a better album that speaks to the exact reasons they're trying to get away from whatever it is they're getting away from.
The other thing that's awesome about this album? The whole thing was self-produced by Lamontagne, recorded in his home in Western Massachusetts, and completed in a matter of two weeks. The instrumentation makes it sound like you are at your own private show, something all those folks who dropped loot at Outside Lands last weekend, should really enjoy.