This bearded troubadour had us at "Trouble." Whether he's yearning for a traveling lover, praising her as the best thing or bemoaning a soul-sucking hotel room in New York City, Ray LaMontagne sings it with feeling.

This bearded troubadour had us at "Trouble." Whether he's yearning for a traveling lover, praising her as the best thing or bemoaning a soul-sucking hotel room in New York City, Ray LaMontagne sings it with feeling.

The Pariah Dogs, LaMontagne's touring band, got billing on his latest album, "God Willin' and the Creek Don't Rise," and for excellent reason. The seamless band gives much-needed structure and punctuation to LaMontagne's soulful singing and songwriting. Together, LaMontagne and the band swing merrily from blues to country to folk to retro soul and back again. It's a fine ride.

LaMontagne and the band will translate beautifully outdoors. Actually, I can't think of a better setting for his music than underneath the stars.