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God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise

Ray LaMontagne Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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“There’s something magical that happens when these musicians play together,” says Ray LaMontagne. “I’ve been wanting to capture what we’ve been doing live for a while. The chemistry is really special.”

The billing on LaMontagne’s fourth album, God ... Read more in Amazon's Ray LaMontagne Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (6 Sep 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music
  • ASIN: B003QCCS36
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,274 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Repo Man
2. New York City's Killing Me
3. God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise
4. Beg Steal Or Borrow
5. Are We Really Through
6. This Love Is Over
7. Old Before Your Time
8. For the Summer
9. Like Rock & Roll and Radio
10. Devil's in the Jukebox

Product Description

BBC Review

Ray LaMontagne is blessed with a voice that emits weary melancholy with the best of them. More than this, his husky pipes retain the power to soothe even when they speak in terms of heartache, resulting in a highly unlikely success story: a Billboard-bothering singer so reluctant to be in the spotlight that he rarely grants interviews and refuses to make videos for his songs.

That said, a cynic might point towards the raft of glossy US television shows that have employed his gift for slow-burning balladry as making up for this lack of audiovisual presence. If you watch television at all, chances are you’ll have heard the singer accentuating some teary farewell or untimely departure.

His fourth LP is the first in which Americana go-to guy Ethan Johns doesn’t feature in any capacity; instead it’s entirely self-produced, and LaMontagne boosts his backing players up to ‘Pariah Dog’ status. It is no great leap from his earlier work, though, and certainly the whole thing sounds gorgeous – a hazy weave of organic instrumentation and slide guitar over which LaMontagne steers his narratives.

Yet it’s hard to escape the feeling that something is missing here – perhaps the drama that marked his preceding Gossip in the Grain’s best tracks. Although bookended by a couple of belters – the opening Repo Man is a flurry of riffs and resentment while The Devil’s in the Jukebox is dirty, loose and all the better for it – the record often lapses into one-paced tedium, reaching a nadir of sorts on Are We Really Through, which is so waterlogged by cliché and easy metaphor that it sounds almost purpose-built for television montage duties.

For all that, this album will undoubtedly please fans of the singer, and LaMontagne occasionally approximates his idols with skill and affection, losing nothing in the process (the ghost of Van Morrison in particular haunts This Love Is Over, easily a high point). The better songs here don’t quite rescue the disc, but they do suggest that LaMontagne can step outside his comfort zone when he chooses to – it’s just a shame how rarely that occurs.

--James Skinner

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CD Description

God Willin’ & The Creek Don't Rise is acclaimed recording artist Ray LaMontagne's fourth studio record, and the follow-up to his heralded Gossip in the Grain. Entirely self produced (for the first time) God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise was recorded in two weeks at LaMontagne’s home in the woods of western Massachusetts.
The newly restored historic home served as a homemade recording studio for Ray and his fellow musicians. The setting provided a backdrop for the creation of songs imbued with Ray’s signature poignancy. With Ray’s vocals at the forefront of the songs and a loose, almost live sounding recording, the album stands as a testament to a band at the height of their powers.
The newly coined 'Pariah Dogs', consists of Jay Bellarose (drums), Jennifer Condos (bass), Patrick Warren (keyboard), Eric Heywood (guitar) and Greg Leisz (pedal steel guitar). Individually, these musicians have contributed to the live work of musicians including Beck, Joe Henry, Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams, Ryan Adams and Joe Cocker to name a few.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
For the curious amongst you this album is streaming in full over at the wonderful National Public Radio until September 7th which will enable you to ignore the sniffy BBC review above and check out the real thing. After hearing it in full a good number of times the "cheque is in the post" to Amazon since this is easily LaMontagne's best since his timeless debut album "Trouble" with its echoes of Otis Redding. On this new album he has moved away from producer Ethan John and instead filled out his sound by enlisting the support of his red hot band of musicians the Pariah Dogs who support him in concert and comprise Jay Bellarose on drums, Jennifer Condos on bass, Patrick Warren on keys, Eric Heywood on guitar and Greg Leisz on steel guitar.

"Repo Man" is a exuberant and funky start to the album with LaMontagne's trademark gravely vocal returning like a very welcome old friend after an extended guitar introduction. It is however not typical of the songs throughout since this new albums predominant feel is largely based on alternative country in the vein of Gram Parsons, Ryan Adams, Evan Dando and particularly the source inspiration of "Harvest" era Neil Young which is spread like a rash over the albums second half (but let me add in in a very good way). "New York City's killing me" is classic heartbreak country territory as is the stellar title track which is one of the best songs on the album with its slow and lonesome vocal by LaMontagne and dulcet steel guitar backing from Greg Leisz. On its own this song is worth the price of admission and will soundtrack many smoky Saturday nights and rainy Sunday mornings accompanied by a punishing hangover.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Return of Ray! (and his mates) 7 Sep 2010
Format:Audio CD
Let me set the record straight!! Whilst the BBC review seems at pains to find fault on this album, and belittle the amazing song writing of one our generations' truely unique and gifted performers,, I cannot help but report all of the positives and assure you that all is well in the world, as Ray has yet again delivered a beautiful soul stirring piece of work. This is the best album from Ray since Trouble, and that is one of my top five albums of all time.

The mood is relaxed, the melancholy tinged with optimism, the voice is true and heartfelt, and the band are tight and loose in perfect measure. Everything points to a man at the peak of his powers recording and playing in an enviroment where he and his band are at ease! Ray has taken the production under his own wing, and I have to say that the lush sound of the band is beautifully captured, from the various pedal steel and slide guitar flourishes to the vibrant full sounding acoustic playing and the perfectly understated drumming.

All of the songs are great, displaying Ray's simple and universal lyrics which seem to immediatley strike a chord. Without going through the full album, the stand out tracks are Repo Man (funky), New York is Killing Me, God Willin' and The Creek Don't Rise and For The Summer.

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cinematic Americana 4 Jan 2011
By sid67
Format:Audio CD
Not only has Ray got the most amazing expressive voice but the way he uses it, is masterful.
Looking like Rasputin but with the voice of a battered ,well lived soul singer,this guy is special.
I have been playing and singing with this album constantly for the past month in my car on the way to work,and it is one of my favourite albums of the last year.
The lyrics and the atmosphere the vocal and instruments create are cinematic this is especially the case with the title track 'God Willin &Creek don't Rise" .It opens with such a beautiful open ended phrase and then continues to transport you into a timeless American landscape, in widescreen.
The Pariah Dogs augment Rays voice and add a haunting quality to the songs.
In my opinion there is not one weak song on this album.
If you like melodic ,well crafted songs, sung and played with subtlety and grace, just buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ray Lamontagne 15 Jun 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Heard one of this Cd's tracks while shopping in Matalan'
stopped shopping and listened to it, it was really great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars if you like this artist you'll like this 29 May 2014
By DavidL
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I bought it for a friend who really likes Ray Lamontagne and they're really happy with it. I also think it's good
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arrived on time and a great album. 28 May 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I would recommend this product to any Ray fans. It arrived in time and was an instant hit with myself and even converted my daughter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool! 16 Mar 2014
Format:Vinyl|Verified Purchase
Love vinyl and this is an excellent addition to my collection will keep looking for more new records as you are quite cheap
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funky; relaxing; gorgeous songs 7 Feb 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Buy this!! i had never heard of this guy until recently. A work colleague was playing it and i asked if i could borrow it. Love it!! the guys voice, the music its really fab. A little bit country, bluesy, funky - you will not be disappointed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Album
This is the best album I've bought all year. This man has a great voice and he writes beautiful lyrics. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mr Martin Payne
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!!
Got all of Ray's cd's so obviously a fan, would recommend the above cd as it's unique, uplifting & slightly more up tempo for Ray; in a good way :)
Published 7 months ago by julie hilton
4.0 out of 5 stars Huge talent
Bought this for New York City's Kiiling Me but the rest of the album doesn't disappoint. A unique style and delivery not to mention a voice that is so easy on the ear.
Published 7 months ago by Del746
5.0 out of 5 stars More upbeat than before
Some jazzier less introspective sounds, with ray,s gravelly voice keeping you mesmerised. Definitely worth listening to often so a good purchase.
Published 8 months ago by blah blah blah
5.0 out of 5 stars The Feel
You can picture and feel where Ray is in this album. The smoke,boots and banjo.Just love his lingering words and tones.
Published 8 months ago by cavallo
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best from Ray
I was a little disappointed in this album, it's okay but not up there with Trouble, maybe it will grow on me
Published 9 months ago by Amanda Partridge
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply beautiful
What a gorgeous voice and gorgeous album, quite simply I love it. When is Ray going to tour in the UK again? I can only hope it's very soon!
Published 10 months ago by Capple
5.0 out of 5 stars top album
Bought this album after hearing a track on the radio. Unusual country type music. Love it. As far as a product , plays perfectly
Published 12 months ago by M. D. Morton
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