Letters

Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Lamontagne and Lewis Take Road...
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Lamontagne and Lewis Take Road Less Traveled

Kristi Kates - July 14th, 2014  

Heading to Interlochen this month are a pair of singer-songwriters whose unusual paths to indie stardom at times paralleled each other.

Ray LaMontagne and Jenny Lewis are both pensive, insightful writers and unique vocalists. Their musical careers began in different corners of the country, but merged in ways only a traveling musician’s can.

GROWING UP

LaMontagne was born in New Hampshire and grew up in Utah, while Lewis was born and grew up under the bright lights of Las Vegas, NV.

LaMontagne, one of six kids, spent much of his childhood drawing role playing game characters instead of doing his schoolwork; Lewis grew up with a mother who was a professional singer, and a father who was in Johnny Puleo’s mid-50s “Harmonica Gang” band.

But before long, music was calling to both of them.

STARTING SOMEWHERE

After high school, LaMontagne moved to Maine. He abruptly quit his job in a shoe factory after hearing a Stephen Stills album and deciding to pursue music instead.

Meanwhile, Lewis was approaching music from a side street. She made her acting debut in a Jell-O commercial, and continued acting with bit parts in TV shows.

In 1998, she formed the band Rilo Kiley with several friends, and it served as the springboard for her solo musical career. A year later across the country LaMontagne began performing live shows.

DEBUT DISCS

2004 was another pivotal year for both artists.

During that 12 months, LaMontagne recorded and released his debut album, “Trouble,” with producer Ethan Johns and guest contributions from Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek.)

In a twist of events, Jennifer Stills – Stephen Stills’ musician daughter – also contributed vocals.

Lewis’ first album with Rilo Kiley, “Take- Offs and Landings,” had been released in 2001. But by 2004, she was already ready to drop her own first solo effort, “Rabbit Fur Coat,” on which she collaborated with Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), M. Ward, and Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard.

SOUNDTRACK SCENE

Both artists have also found musical success in other media, as their emotional vocals lend themselves well to TV, films, and their peers’ albums.

LaMontagne’s songs started surfacing in the mid-2000s on TV shows like “Rescue Me,” “Alias,” “One Tree Hill,” and “Bones,” as well as movies “The Boys Are Back” and “The Town.”

Around the same time, Lewis contributed vocals to a Postal Service album, plus several songs by the band Cursive. Later in the 2000s, she’d also sing on sets by Johnathan Rice and Elvis Costello.

TODAY’S TUNES

Now both LaMontagne and Lewis are going strong, having firmly cemented their place among the indie-rock elite.

Lewis, her current sound described as a “girlish mix of indie rock plus soul,” is releasing her latest solo set, “The Voyager,” on July 29 on Warner Bros. Records.

While LaMontagne’s newest, “Supernova,” just dropped this past April, complete with production from The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach.

MISSING LINK

LaMontagne and Lewis’ opening act for this trek, The Belle Brigade, slightly echoes LaMontagne and Lewis’s story.

Belle Brigade – siblings Barbara and Ethan Gruska – invokes the harmonies of The Everly Brothers, with vocals reminiscent of the girlboy dynamic heard in Fleetwood Mac.

They’ve also briefly tapped into the film scene, with their song “I Didn’t Mean It” being selected for the “Twilight: Breaking Dawn” film soundtrack.

And they have a new album, too: “Just Because,” which was just released on ATO Records.

Ray LaMontagne, Jenny Lewis, and The Belle Brigade will be in concert at Interlochen Center for the Arts on July 22 at 7:30pm. For tickets and more, visit tickets.interlochen.org.

 
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