16 March, 2009

From the Heart and Soul

Sometimes the truth hurts, they say, and they're right. Behind the beauty of art lies a whole world of pain and suffering, whether it be the time and effort required to hone and re-write a poem, get the inspiration for and make a painting, sweat out writing and revising a book, or give birth to a song or symphony, and that might take a whole life of living first. The level of sensitivity that you have to open yourself up to to allow creativity through, or even the amount of truth you have to face up to in order to encounter the self strongly enough to make a difference is considerable. It's painful for some of us just to turn off the TV or the computer and sit with that truth and all the thoughts that come flooding through for an hour or two. Think, then of the artist who does it every day of his/her life. It's no wonder so few of us have the courage to make art.

I found a video today of an older Ray LaMontagne song, one that shows what kind of passion it takes to make this kind of music. In my mind, Ray fits in right behind Pete Seeger in the series of men who speak truth through their art. I don't know Ray's politics except through his songs, but those songs speak to me strongly and this performance, as raw and intimate as it is, sings the heart and soul.

Look with me again at If I Could Hold you in My Arms:


Ruahines said...

Kia ora VJ,
A great song, one of my favorite Ray offerings. He loves Van Morrison and I can see and hear it there.
I think his first album is very similar to Van's Astral Weeeks, in that it will prove to be far more long lasting under the hour glass of time. A classic.
I still owe a cd VJ. You will get it. Greatest hits from New Zealand. Do you like Warren Zevon?

Martin J Frid said...

I enjoyed that a lot, thanks for the introduction. Just what I needed.

vegetablej said...


You know, I didn't think of the Van Morrison connection at all, but you're probably right; it's just that Ray manages to make everything so much his own that I'd have to be a lot more musically sophisticated to notice. Listen, I'm still waiting for that music, I can't say patiently any more :), but I'll be _grateful_ for anything you send and I'm sure I'll love it too. Just don't wait too long, because I'm going to be moving again.


vegetablej said...


Sooooo happy to hear that, and believe me, if you check out more of Ray's music, you won't be disappointed. If you like the protest theme, but not so mellow, try, "How Come?" If you like the romantic, soulful side, try "Hannah".


White on Rice Couple said...

Very well said. So much of the beautiful art comes from those willing to immerse themselves in the rawness of life. Thanks for sharing another great artist. Todd.