God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise

For a folkie, Ray LaMontagne has always had a deep groove sense. But it's a hot surprise to hear him open his fourth LP with a Meters-style funk grind ("Repo Man"). His band freshens up his sound here, with two pedal steel players adding country lilt and drummer Jay Bellerose stoking the engine. It doesn't always hang together, but LaMontagne's growl makes everything sound menacingly sexy. Lock up your daughters.

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