I was lucky enough to get to see Ray Lamontagne for the second time last weekend and I’ve been mulling it over all week. He was quiet between songs,as he was the first time I saw him; compelled to communicate solely through his music. I’m not even sure he said “Hello Dallas!” or anything like that. He performed a mixture of new and old songs and it was a relaxed and very pleasant evening. One of his old songs that he performed is one that was a slow burn for me…not the instant love type of song, but one I gradually came to really enjoy. I think the beginning threw me initially with its kind of corny old timey Western opening, but as soon as the “Meg White-ish”drumming kicks in the song, it becomes pretty great, with its minor chord changes and intriguing message. Did he really have a long distance crush on Meg White? I looked back at interviews from around the time when Gossip in the Grain came out and found that he was somewhat cagey in his response, or at least not very direct. But what he does address is his proclivity for silence between songs. He claims to like mystery; comparing musicians who talk between songs to magicians who do their tricks and then afterwards tell you how it’s done.
Piquing my interest even further in Meg White in general is the fact that Jack White’s solo efforts haven’t quite resonated with me the way that the White Stripes ever has. The White Stripes seemed full of mystery to me. I remember when I first heard them and read up on them and you really couldn’t find out whether they were married or siblings (odd thing to create mystery about, but intriguing nonetheless). They were married for a time. Maybe they decided that keeping that part a mystery created a more interesting public persona. I don’t know.
This June there was a fascinating article on Grantland about Jack White’s current career trajectory and the fact that Meg White seems to haunt his current repertoire.
I love seeing musicians influence, impress or motivate other musicians. Pretty fascinating.