If I want a cup of coffee and to read the paper, the last thing I want is to hear some [expletive] singer-songwriter sitting by the table singing some really sincere [expletive] to me." So, if you were in Maine in the late '90s and stopped in some small town for a cup of coffee, that lanky, shaggy, denim-clad troubadour with the hushed sandpaper vocals, supple guitar strokes and melancholy songs of love, loss, desperation and redemption was in all likelihood Ray La Montagne, or as the first two of three privately produced albums advertised, Raycharles La Montagne (his given name, not a tribute)."You have to believe in yourself before anybody else believes in you," he says of the albums that started others believing in him and eventually led to a publishing deal and a contract with RCA Records that assured him an uncommon degree of creative control.
Read less .the contact information for Ray La Montagne agent, manager, and publicist.Writing his own music may have been a necessity, but, La Montagne says, "I knew it was the next step; writing songs became a passion and I just kept doing it, and then it got to the point where I thought, 'I've got 15, 20, 25 songs, maybe I should try to play them for people and see what happens.' " That step, he admits, "was tough and really frightening," particularly for someone who seldom even spoke to people and now had to sing to them.La Montagne started in small coffee shops, "anywhere they let you play for 30 minutes and you get free coffee or free brownies -- or both! "And nobody wants you to be there -- I can see that looking back.You only have what you have -- your range, your natural tone, whatever -- and I found that pretty quickly.I'd always enjoyed writing, not songwriting, but short stories and this and that, journal writing. Putting the two things together was tricky, but at the same time, in a weird way, it felt really natural.