Ray LaMontagne trades longtime producer for “Pariah Dogs” on new album

Maybe the third time wasn’t a charm. After releasing three successful albums in the span of four years, Ray LaMontagne and his longtime producer, Ethan Johns, have finally gone their separate ways.

LaMontagne has decided to take the controls on his new album, God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise, which is due on August 17th via RCA records. While it’s the first time he has produced himself, LaMontagne has plenty of company.

His new six-piece band – The Pariah Dogs – assembled for two weeks of recording at his home in the sticks of western Massachusetts, and despite the group’s moniker, its members have made contributions to some of music’s finest recordings.

Pedal steel player Greg Leisz has played on records by Joni Mitchell and the Smashing Pumpkins, while guitarist Eric Heywood was an unofficial member of Wilco’s evil twin – Son Volt. To top it off, half of the band has cut a record with Ryan Adams. (On a side note, Ethan Johns produced Adams’ 2000 masterpiece Heartbreaker)

There’s still no word on what the followup to Gossip in the Grain will sound like, but over the course of three albums LaMontagne has expanded his sound from slow burners like 2004’s “Trouble” to stalker-riffic tunes like 2008’s “Meg White”. A live version of the new album’s first track — “Repo Man” — is a blues stomper that is sure to please old fans who have filled auditoriums to see him play. See for yourself below.

He’s got the 36-year-old soccer mom demographic on lockdown, and in 2005, Pollstar nominated him for Best New Touring Artist. While he lost that award to Arcade Fire, tickets to see the awkward performer have always sold well. Despite almost zero audience interaction at shows, it’s still amazing to see what he can accomplish with just three chords and his voice.

His Shyness will also be pounding the pavement with David Gray on a 17-stop soiree that takes the boys from the Northeast to the Golden State, with stops in the Midwest and Canada along the way.

Here are some tour dates and a tracklist for the new album. In the meantime, check out this grainy video of LaMontagne performing “Repo Man” at Alabama’s Hangout Festival. If you like what you see, then snag your seats via Ticketmaster.com.

God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise Tracklist:
01. Repo Man
02. New York City’s Killing Me
03. God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise
04. Beg Steal Or Borrow
05. Are We Really Through
06. This Love Is Over
07. Old Before Your Time
08. For The Summer
09. Like Rock & Roll and Radio
10. The Devil’s In The Jukebox

Ray LaMontagne/David Gray 2010 Tour Dates
08/15 – Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion
08/17 – Boston, MA @ Bank of America Pavilion
08/18 – Boston, MA @ Bank of America Pavilion
08/19 - Wantagh, NY @ Nikon at Jones Beach
08/20 – Camden, NJ @ Susquehanna Bank Center
8/23 Atlanta @ Chastain Park Ampitheater
08/25 – Chicago, IL @ Millennium Park
08/26 – Rochester, MI @ Meadow Brook Theatre
08/27 – Toronto, ON @ Molson Amphitheatre
08/29 – Council Bluffs, IA @ Stir Cover at Harrah’s Council Bluffs
08/30 – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
08/31 – Santa Fe, NM @ Santa Fe Opera House
09/01 – Phoenix, AZ @ Dodge Theatre
09/03 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Pearl at The Palms
09/04 – Valley Center, CA @ Harrahs Rincon
09/05 – Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl
09/07 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Greek Theatre
09/08 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Greek Theatre
09/10 – San Francisco, CA @ The Greek Theatre


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