November 2009

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On Nov. 17, Denver’s Ellie Caulkins Opera House was filled with the sweet songs of lost love, simplicity and addiction. The source of this therapeutic rapture was former shoe-factory worker turned folk phenomenon Ray LaMontagne. With a voice that harbors the kind of goosebumps and butterflies that first love brings, he captures the many emotions that coincide with the human condition.

I have listened to a lot of music. Over the past few years, I have come to accept that there is very little that musically surprises me anymore. I am not saying that there is nothing good out there, to the contrary there has been a lot of good music lately, it is simply that the music I have listened to recently lacks staying power. When I say staying power, I mean that I can play the album a week, month, year or years later and not be embarrassed. The Rural Alberta Advantage debut album Hometowns caught me off guard.