Om Ray LaMontagne
Musical epiphanies often happen to people at the most random moments. Dave Matthews once confessed that his came when he was eating a hot dog at the legendary Pink's in Hollywood when a Paul Williams song came on the radio and from then on he knew what he was going to do with the rest of his life. Roger McGuinn of the Byrds admits that after watching George Harrison play an electric 12-string guitar in A Hard Day's Night, that he suddenly knew that the magic sounding, jangly chime was gong to be his trademark sound. For Ray LaMontagne, the calling came over the speakers of a shoe factory he was working in. More specifically, it was "Tree Top Flyer" by Stephen Stills that stopped him dead in his tracks when he knew that he had to leave his job and pursue a singing/songwriting career. Having grown up in a nomadic family, it wasn't too unfamiliar for LaMontagne to suddenly pick up and start over, which is exactly what he did. Ten recorded demo songs later, he was inking a deal with Chrysalis Music Publishing before teaming up with Hollywood producer Ethan Johns to cut his debut album Trouble which was almost instantly nabbed by RCA Records in 2004. Although LaMontagne is often compared to Tim Buckley, his voice sounds not unlike a young Van Morrison or even Ryan Adams.