Fourth studio album God Willin’ and the Creek Don’t Rise from critically acclaimed troubadour Ray LaMontagne is notable as the New Englander’s first self-produced project and, more significantly, as the official “debut” of his new co-billed band The Pariah Dogs: Jay Bellarose (drums), Jennifer Condos (bass), Patrick Warren (keyboard), Eric Heywood (guitar) and Greg Leisz (pedal steel guitar). Recorded at his western Massachusetts home over a two week period, Creek further burnishes LaMontagne’s reputation as both sterling songwriter and compelling performer and, with a solid group of seasoned players behind him, allowing him an even greater opportunity to stretch in each area.
“These guys are all so good, and I trust their instincts,” says LaMontagne, “I just wanted to write songs that I felt would excite them. There was a certain amount of pressure, because they’re so much more accomplished than I am as a musician. But I knew that if I could pull together a batch of songs I was happy with, there was really no risk involved.” Leading the pack on the new album is “Beg Borrow or Steal”, a song where LaMontagne and band transform a deceptively simple melody — and a mellow rhythmic rural shamble — into something out of the ordinary. “For me, songs just have to happen, they have to come out of nowhere,” he says. “Otherwise it sounds like you’re trying to write a song, and I can spot that a mile away—and I think listeners can, too.”
Exclusive 7-inch is free with purchase, which includes two album tracks, “Beg Steal or Borrow” as well as “This Love Is Over.”