"Jolene"- Ray LaMontagne
Since I started this project, I’ve been posting a few songs a week. 2 songs turned into 20, and 20 turned into hundreds. My “Mixtape” has become an accurate portrayal of my eclectic music taste. It is littered with everything from Nickel Creek to Lana Del Rey to The National. But of all the phases of music I’ve walked through, Ray LaMontagne has been a consistent and steady friend. His songs have played through the speakers of my first high school car, as emotional accompaniment as friends said I Do’s, and as a source of familiarity through seasons of uncertainty.
Since my time in Colorado, I’ve been posting up at coffee shops I admire, hoping to make a friend or two, and ultimately hoping to land a job. Last night was no expectation. I handed off my resumé and sat down to enjoy some iced coffee. A woman handed the barista tickets to see Ray play at Red Rocks Amphitheater, asking him to give them to someone who would enjoy the show. Long story short, I found myself driving into the mountains with 2 of my favorite friends to see this man sing songs and tell stories.
I’d be lying if I said I was familiar with most of his newer stuff, but when the time came for him to sing this oldie, time stood still. It was lightly raining, and lightning was bouncing off the hills around us. He stood alone in front of thousands of strangers, singing about love lost and genuine heartache. I started thinking about the countless people I’ve sang this song with. Sitting on kitchen counters and empty lifeguard stands. Walking through the snow and sneaking onto rooftops.
I hope this song holds just as many memories for you, if not more. Cheers to the moments that stir your soul and make you happy to be alive.