Ray Lamontange and the Pariah Dogs 'God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise' Sony Music

This, his fourth album, starts as I remember him in a relaxed funky style on Repro Man but after that with New York's Killing Me it becomes less, well funky. Eric Heywood's pedal steel is well to the fore, alongside that of felow band member and steel and baritone guitarist Greg Leisz and makes you understand why Lamontange has co-credited this fine band and how important they are to this album and its direction. The title is a catch phrase used by Hank Williams but also a song on this album that is a letter to a loved one to whom the writer hopes to return if ...  However, as on his albums from his debut, the focal point is Lamontange's distinctive, rough-edged, gritty and soulful vocals. His production on this album has allowed that key instrument room to roam among the bands telling contributions. Jennifer Condos, the band bass player is a main factor alongside Jay Bellerose on drums as they lock together to create a solid foundation for the voice and the twin guitar skills of Heywood and Leisz and other instruments to explore the possibilities of the songs without ever overwhelming them. This is my favourite of Lamontange's albums to date and is one that will allow him to develop his music in whatever direction he chooses while hopefully bringing his audience with him. It's also the place for those with a more of an ear towards country/roots music to connect with a striking singer and songwriter.