Raymond Charles Jack LaMontagne (born June 18, 1973) is an American songwriter, singer and musician. LaMontagne has released eight studio albums, Trouble, Till the Sun Turns Black, Gossip in the Grain, God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise, Supernova, Ouroboros, Part of the Light, and Monovision. He was born in New Hampshire and was inspired to create music after hearing an album by Stephen Stills. Critics have compared LaMontagne's music to that of Otis Redding, The Band, Van Morrison, Nick Drake and Tim Buckley.
LaMontagne was born in Nashua, New Hampshire, in 1973, one of six children raised by his mother. In his early teens he lived in Morgan, Utah, and was more interested in drawing images of Dungeons & Dragons than in his school work. After graduating from high school, LaMontagne moved to Lewiston, Maine, and found work in a shoe factory. LaMontagne also spent a significant amount of time in Wilton, Maine. Other sources state that by his teen years he was living in Maine, spending time in Turner and Buckfield.
LaMontagne has a unique vocal style which he says is created by singing through his gut instead of through his nose. He cites Stephen Stills, Richard Manuel, and Rick Danko as strong musical influences while critics have compared LaMontagne's music to that of The Band, Van Morrison, Nick Drake, and Tim Buckley. A Rolling Stone review of his album Supernova referred to his voice as an "impeccably weathered tenor croon" and his phrasing as "marble-mouthed."
For his debut album, LaMontagne won four awards, including three Boston Music Awards (Best Male Singer-Songwriter, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year) and an XM Nation Music Award for Acoustic Rock Artist of the Year. LaMontagne has received a nomination from the Pollstar Concert Industry Awards for Best New Touring Artist, the BRIT Awards for International Breakthrough Act, the MOJO Awards for Best New Act, and was given the title of Best Voice in 2006 by Esquire.
In 2011, Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs received two Grammy Award nominations, and they were awarded the Grammy for the Best Contemporary Folk Album for God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise.
On July 23, 2014, during a show at the Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, Michigan, LaMontagne interrupted a song and walked off stage as a result of two fans talking during his concert, after having previously asked the audience to quiet down. The incident included yelling profanity at the couple before walking off stage. Once the couple was escorted away LaMontagne continued the concert.
On September 20, 2016, LaMontagne announced that he was canceling a September 22 show at the Bass Concert Hall at the University of Texas at Austin, due to Texas's recently implemented campus carry law.
In 2009, LaMontagne paid $1.05 million for a 103-acre farm in Ashfield, Massachusetts, the former residence of U.S. Ambassador William C. Bullitt, where he lives with his wife, Sarah Sousa, and their two children in the farmhouse built in 1830. Sousa is a published poet via Red Mountain Press and their sons are budding artists. He refers to himself as a "very private person" and rarely gives interviews.