The Belle Jar- Union Station
Mar 5, 2014
Ray LaMontagne, America's favorite smoky-voiced soul stallion, returned at summer’s end with his latest collection of gospel-folk sweeps. God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise is a flavorful slice of LaMontagne's patented foot-stomp soul, though the album takes a quiet dive after the initial rumbling tracks.
A more low-key album than 2008’s loose Gossip in the Grain, God Willin’ pounds and rolls along with percussive strums and LaMontagne’s signature rusty howl (especially on "Repo Man," the album's lead-off riot track). On the third or fourth song, LaMontagne slows down, making heartfelt observations like the charmingly honest "New York City's Killin' Me."
The bearded LaMontagne teamed up with gritty backers The Pariah Dogs in rural Massachusetts to make the album, a 10-track diary of a bearded guy who calls ‘em like he sees ‘em. Part country-folk, part swinging soul, God Willin’ is all heart.
Check out "New York City's Killin' Me":