Ray Lamontagne

[ROCK] When Ray Lamontagne played Artpark two years ago with My Morning Jacket as his backing band (minus Jim James), he misheard a fan shouting out a request. “I already played solo,” he responded warily, assuming that the audience was less interested in what he was performing (the Ouroboros album in its entirety) and would prefer to hear the more troubadour-esque Americana that informed his first three releases (and a short set at the start of the gig in question). Despite not hearing the request for what it was, he was still half right: it’s an odd and unfortunate dichotomy, but Lamontagne seems to be perpetually dealing with an audience that would prefer something other than what he’s serving. Early tours were often spiked with hoots and hollers from drunken fratboys—likely dragged to his shows by girlfriends that were touched by his brooding-but-romantic allure—who seemed to be mocking him for the hushed emotion that makes much of his music so compelling. Choosing to rock a little harder on his last two releases, collaborated on with the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach and My Morning Jacket, respectively, he’s faced restless crowds that make no secret of wanting more of that which came before. No doubt, it’s extremely frustrating. Lamontagne, for what it’s worth, would rather “Be Here Now,” to coin the title of a track off his brilliant Till the Sun Turns Black (2006): to be allowed to follow his muse where it takes him in the moment and know that his audience is attempting to follow along. His Just Passing Through tour this fall—which comes to UB’s Center for the Arts on Friday, October 13—strikes a balance between his older and newer material by presenting choices from both in a solo context, which also addresses what it is that fans are likely sensing the loss of on his last two records: intimacy. It’s still there, beneath more densely layered arrangements. Remove them and you’re left with the same artist you fell in love with a dozen years ago.  It’s safe to follow Ray down his various creative rabbit holes—he will always come back to basics and commune with us.



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103 Center For The Arts
Buffalo, NY