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October 15, 2009

Catching up with Ray LaMontagne

ray lamontagneTonight, enigmatic singer/songwriter Ray LaMontagne will play the first of two sold-out shows with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

The first is at Strathmore, and the second is tomorrow at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.

I talked to Ray for an article which ran in today's paper (here's a link). I was shocked to find out he's never played one of his songs for his wife, and that, at first, he didn't like his voice.

This is the second time Ray has played with an orchestra. The first time was this past July at the Hollywood Bowl.

Ray had a funny perspective on what it's like to be backed by an orchestra:

"When you play with an orchestra, you have to go back and re-learn all the songs," he said. "It's just a pain in the ass." 

Hee hee ...

Of course, having a professional orchestra to back you up isn't the worst thing in the world, Ray admits.
"We played at the Hollywood Bowl with the Hollywood Orchestra," he said. "It was beautiful. It was really amazing. It probably should have ended right there. That probably should have been it for orchestra shows, because it was a nice way to say goodbye to the first three records and shift gears and move on."

We'll find out if that really should have been the end at tonight's show.

Here's another interesting little tidbit I couldn't squeeze into the story: Not only has Ray never played a song for his wife, he hates the whole folk singer mentality.

"I get really uncomfortable with the folk scene," he said. "The singer/songwriter mentality makes me really uncomfortable. I just want to throw up. I just don't like it. I think it's so weird. Let's all sit around a campfire and sing songs? No thanks."

(Handout photo)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:39 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Random stuff


THANK you ray, for saying exactly what needs to be said. though you did have a folky guy singing in the lobby before your show last night (caleb stine). i *love* ray precisely for what he is- honesty with a voice.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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