"Roguie Ray" Lamontagne


Roguie Ray Lamontagne has been writing and singing the blues most of his life. And when he wasn't writing it he was living it and living it hard.   
As a young man Ray says that he was, "wild as the river and two times as cold." He truly believes that the harmonica saved him from a life behind bars and opened his heart to a life of his dreams.  Ray recalls, as a kid in reform school, sitting on the "hot box," (the metal box over the radiator that kept you from getting burned,) listening to Bruce Channel's song, "Hey Baby." He played the harmonica part over and over till it sounded just like the record.  

Roguie Ray moved to Nashville in 1973 and made it his home.  He started playing lower Broadway from 10 am to 3 am seven days a week for tips, back when you had to carry a pistol in your harp case.  He put together the Blue Monday Band and got a deal on Kent Records. Their first record, "Murdered by Love" was nominated for a W.C. Handy Award.  "Born with the Blues," their second recording, was voted Album of the Year by the Nashville Music Association.        

A few years ago, Ray got to play with artist Bruce Channel at the Grand Ole Opry.  They played the song "Hey Baby" that Ray had practiced on the hot box so many years before.  From his humble beginnings Ray had come full circle.  Says Ray, "That's when I knew that it was true; that if you believe in God and in yourself, your dreams can come true."  He is living proof of this, having toured and recorded with all of his musical heroes:  Johnny Cash, Billy Joe Shaver, Townes Van Zant, Guy Clark, Wild Bill Emerson, Bruce Channel, Ronnie Sessions and he has worked the road with Merle Haggard, George Jones and Farron Young.  The harmonica is his life.  

"I love these Yonberg Harps." - Roguie Ray  roguieray@roguieray.com