Now here's a young bearded wonder you can believe in. Based on this Maine folkie's simple-yet-stunning recorded output to date--his debut Trouble, 2006's Till the Sun Turns Black, and now Gossip in the Grain--it's abundantly clear that Ray LaMontaigne is a true artist (and a true purveyor of lost art). It's not just that Brother Ray is effortlessly enigmatic (and, mercifully, keeps himself to himself); he's endeared himself to me by invoking my all-time favorite players--Stephen Stills and the late Richard Manuel--as his inspiration. And it looks like this soulful Frère Ray will also hold the line with a high level of creativity as he goes on. Prepare to abide in the glorious dark with him.
Sat., Oct. 11, 8 p.m., 2008