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Ray LaMontagne On World Cafe

Ray LaMontagne.
Brian Stowell
Courtesy of the artist
Ray LaMontagne.

There's an intimacy in the way Ray LaMontagne records and performs music that makes you feel like you're peeking through a curtain and listening in on a private moment. And in some ways, you truly are.

Ray is an artist I think of the purest sort. He's in it for the expression, not the attention. That's one of the things that I love about Ray and have loved since his 2004 debut Trouble. And it's the same quality that makes this career path challenging for him.

Ray is known for keeping his personal life quite personal, and I don't take for granted how generous he was about telling stories in our time together. We sat down in a tiny room backstage before Ray's show in Philadelphia where he told me that, as a kid, he felt like he had been born into the wrong family. But he found comfort and companionship in Sarah, who he met when he was 8 years old and who is now his wife. Together, they raised two boys while building their own careers and now live on 100 acres in a house in Western Massachusetts. This is where Ray recorded and produced his latest album Part of the Light.

Ray made some special live recordings of songs from the latest album for World Cafe. You'll hear them throughout our interview. Hear it all in the player.

Copyright 2021 XPN. To see more, visit XPN.

Talia Schlanger hosts World Cafe, which is distributed by NPR and produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. She got her start in broadcasting at the CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster. She hosted CBC Radio 2 Weekend Mornings on radio and was the on-camera host for two seasons of the television series CBC Music: Backstage, as well as several prime-time music TV specials for CBC, including the Quietest Concert Ever: On Fundy's Ocean Floor. Schlanger also guest hosted various flagship shows on CBC Radio One, including As It Happens, Day 6 and Because News. Schlanger also won a Canadian Screen Award as a producer for CBC Music Presents: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions, a cross-country rock 'n' roll road trip.