Beg, Steal or Borrow
By Ray LaMontagne
I have my friend Kyria to thank for introducing me to this incredibly talented alt-country (y'allternative) artist. It's often difficult for me to explain to people who don't like country music why he's so good, and how exactly he's different from the kind of pop-country you hear on country music radio stations. Suffice it to say that the lyrics are less about trucks/boy-meets-girl/getting cheated on...and often about subject matter that requires a bit of introspection after you listen to it.
Like 'Beg, Steal or Borrow', for example. Never has a song so perfectly captured the restless feeling of growing up in a small town and wanting, pining desperately for an escape.
Other good examples include 'Are We Really Through', which got me through a depressing and lonely winter (yes, depressing songs help when I'm depressed) and 'Empty', which has brutally honest lyrics and a driving, haunting sound.
If you think you don't like country music, give Ray LaMontagne a listen just to make sure.