George Pelecanos the best working crime novelist in America wrote this about RF. Pretty damn cool!
Sunday, May 27 9:30 p.m. Listening to Richmond Fontaine’s latest CD, The High Country. Richmond Fontaine, headed by Willy Vlautin, have a stellar reputation in Europe (I saw them at a venue in London a couple of years ago with a packed house of raucous Brits) but are less well known here. It’s hard to describe their music, which makes it hard to market I guess, but I’d go for cinematic Americana, Great Northwest country-rock, or song craft with a literary bent. The High Country is a concept record, and at first a bit inaccessible, but among the oddities, instrumental interludes, and spoken-word moments, tracks like “The Chainsaw Sea,” “Lost in the Trees,” “On a Spree,” and “The Escape” achieve a kind of epic grandeur. The ace guitar work is from Dan Eccles. Newcomers might opt for a more traditional trip and try the record Post to Wire, which boasts many fine songs, like “Barely Losing,” a sublime we-took-a-road-trip-and-we’re in-love tune (“And we’re walking along the railroad tracks / At five in the morning / Wishing we could always be like this / That we’d never have to go back”), or download the track “Incident at Conklin Creek,” from The Fitzgerald, which is akin to a spare, perfectly realized Raymond Carver short story. By the way, Willy Vlautin is also a novelist who wrote Northline, one of my favorite books of the past ten years. Yeah, the dude’s some kind of genius.
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