Three ways to capture my heart. 1) Be a singer-songwriter with an aching beautiful voice. 2) Be a little damaged and emotionally sensitive . 3) Have a thick-ass beard. One person who possesses all three of those attributes (but is unfortunately already spoken for) is Maine’s own Ray LaMontagne. If there is one thing I can ever thank “American Idol” for, it’s for the fact that hearing someone sing “Trouble” on that show (I believe it was Taylor Hicks, but I’m mildly embarrassed to admit that, even though I’d let Taylor have my little brown babies too) sold me on the songwriting acumen of Mr. LaMontagne. Granted, hearing Ray actually sing the song put it on a ‘whole nother level for me. No disrespect, Tay-Tay.

Man-crushes aside, Ray is a brilliant songwriter and a knockout vocalist, and despite the rumors of him being a painfully shy performer, I actually found him engaging (if a bit awkward) the one time I saw him play (I missed a World Series game to see him, too…so y’all realize how serious I am about this cat). Following his debut album (for which “Trouble” was the title track), Ray has released two more albums, with the most recent being 2008’s “Gossip in the Grain”, an album that debuted at a lofty #3 on the charts. Joined by a new band he calls The Pariah Dogs, Ray will be releasing his fourth album, “God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise”, on August 17th. This will be Ray’s first self-produced release. He is also embarking on a co-headlining tour with the equally talented (although not as dreamy) David Gray. For all you sensitive types, this is the concert bill to catch in the summer of 2010. I’ll be the guy swooning in the fifth row.

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

Check out the first single, “Beg, Steal or Borrow”.

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