Music: Ray LaMontagne

Ray LaMontagne’s soulful spin on Folk/Pop has made him something of a sensation here and around the world, reaching the upper reaches of the album and singles charts with all three of his albums. Utilizing avowed influences like Stephen Stills and CSNY,

Ray LaMontagne’s soulful spin on Folk/Pop has made him something of a sensation here and around the world, reaching the upper reaches of the album and singles charts with all three of his albums — 2004’s Trouble, 2006’s Till the Sun Turns Black and last year’s Gossip in the Grain. LaMontagne’s songs have been atmospheric fixtures on television (ER, Bones, One Tree Hill and Rescue Me, which featured “All the Wild Horses” on its soundtrack) and movies (27 Dresses, I Love You, Man), but the biggest indication of his acceptance may well have been when American Idol winner Taylor Hicks chose to cover “Trouble” during the competition.

Utilizing avowed influences like Stephen Stills and CSNY, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Otis Redding and Joni Mitchell, LaMontagne comes out the other end sounding like an evocative cross between Joe Cocker, Jesse Winchester and Van Morrison, with plenty of creative quirks for good measure (he’s performed concerts in the dark to avoid the glare of the audience’s attention). While you might not see Ray LaMontagne, you can’t help but be moved by him.

He plays the Taft Theatre at 8 p.m. Get more Sound Advice here.

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