[lastfm]Ray LaMontagne[/lastfm] will be performing a streaming concert on the Live on Letterman series right here on May 11th. Just in case you’re one of the two people who aren’t familiar with LaMontagne, we’ve put together a little primer in the form of Ray’s 5 best covers. Sometimes hearing someone perform a song you love is the best way to get to know their sound, and for those of you who already know and love Ray LaMontagne, well, you don’t need much convincing to check out his amazing performances of songs by [lastfm]Gnarls Barkley[/lastfm], [lastfm]John Lennon[/lastfm], [lastfm]Bob Dylan[/lastfm], [lastfm]The Faces[/lastfm], and [lastfm]Lucinda Williams[/lastfm].
Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” Cover By Ray LaMontagne
Ray’s earnest and pained voice, puts Gnarls Barkley‘s mega-hit in perspective. At it’s heart, this song isn’t the club-banging dance track so many people took it as originally; it’s the desperate plea of a man on the verge of insanity as he struggles to reason with the world around him. Oh, and it’s awesome.
Check out Ray’s cover of The Faces “Stay with Me” next…
The Faces’ “Stay With Me” Cover By Ray LaMontagne
Ray’s rasp fits Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood’s 1971 hit perfectly. In a lot of ways, this rootsy, acoustic rhythm driven arrangement is even more of a nod to the sounds that influenced early rock and roll than the original.
Check out Ray’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “Man in Me” next…
Bob Dylan’s “The Man In Me” Cover By Ray LaMontagne
On the one hand, it’s really easy to cover Bob Dylan, because he writes such great songs that anyone could make them sound good. On the other hand, people are so used to hearing Dylan’s signature voice with his songs, that everything else falls short of their expectations (even if it is technically a better singer). LaMontagne does a great job riding the line of paying homage to the original and bringing his own unique sound to one of Dylan’s best here.
Check out Ray’s cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine” next…
John Lennon’s “Imagine” Cover By Ray LaMontagne
Well, if covering Bob Dylan wasn’t daunting enough, Ray stepped up to do his version of John Lennon’s timeless classic “Imagine.” This song or performance really doesn’t need any introduction or context, though it is worth noting he played this right after Obama was elected.
Check out Ray’s cover of Lucinda Williams‘ “Fruits of My Labor” next…
Lucinda Williams’ “Fruits of My Labor” Covered By Ray LaMontagne
[lastfm]Lucinda Williams[/lastfm] is one of those folks like Ray LaMontagne, and by that, we mean if somehow you’ve been missing out on her for years now, you’re depriving yourself of something good. Just look at the company Ray has put here in by covering her song, along with Dylan, Lennon, Stewart, and the other greats. LaMontagne’s soulful rendition here does Lucinda’s original proud.
Who know what covers Ray LaMontagne may pull out during his Live on Letterman streaming webcast. It really could be anything. Keep check back here for updates, and remember to come back on Wednesday, May 11th at 8 PM ET/ 5 PM PT.