October 08, 2008 at 04:00 AM EDT

Gossip in the Grain

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Ray LaMontagne
genre
Folk
We gave it a B-

This soft-spoken singer-songwriter has the kind of earthy rasp and wounded sincerity that melts hearts and suggests lots of woodshedding with old Van Morrison records. Even without great songs, Ray LaMontagne could get by just on pure tone. On Gossip in the Grain, he slides effortlessly between horn-inflected R&B and hushed Nick Drake-like folk, with stops in between for string-band country, flute-flavored chamber pop, and harmonica-stoked blues. There’s also a much-needed mash note to the White Stripes drummer Meg White. The singer should consider enlisting her for his next album; she’d certainly liven things up. B?
Download This: Listen to ”Meg White” on last.fm

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