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Thursday, September 21, 2017
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Ray LaMontagne: 'God Willin' & The Creek Don't' — 4 out of 5 stars

Tags: Music

Soulful singer/songwriter Ray LaMontagne’s latest project God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise is a bluesy and country-laden production from his newest collaboration, Ray LaMontagne and The Pariah Dogs.

The opening track “Repo Man,” a song swelling with a fiery blues melody, jumpstarts the album. LaMontagne’s raspy vocals float with a coolness and ease over a lively electric guitar, and the more aggressive sound is unlike anything LaMontagne has previously released.

As he and The Pariah Dogs stray away from the more soft-spoken and breezier material LaMontagne has done in the past, a rougher sound consisting of guitar twangs and steady percussion emerges. But LaMontagne does not ditch his signature song styles completely.

Heart-aching songs like “Are We Really Through” are reminiscent of LaMontagne’s folksier roots in his last album Gossip In The Grain, but God Willin’ would not be a LaMontagne album without a few ballads such as “New York City’s Killing Me” and “This Love Is Over.”

It is evident in his latest work as well as his past musical endeavors that LaMontagne has a knack for story telling. In “Beg Steal or Borrow,” clever lyrics like, “Howlin’ at the moon like a slack jawed fool” combined with an addicting rhythmic melody illustrate a musical tale worth taking another listen to.

Solid but simple, Ray LaMontagne and The Pariah Dogs deliver an album packed with enough musical goodness to make God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise a part of anyone’s collection.

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