Friday, April 4, 2008

Who Loves Richmond Fontaine ?

Thirteen Cities

There are so many fantastic alt country bands out there: The Jayhawks, Calexico, obviously Uncle Tupelo and Wilco but what about the master story-telling ability of Richmond Fontaine

Musically they quote their influences as Husker Du, Willie Nelson, X, The Blasters, and The Replacements but in lyrical terms they are the equivalent of Raymond Carver, short stories of American heartbreak, songs from the gutter set to pedal steel, all-night diners

The most surprising thing about the songs is that they are moving; occasionally the lost connect, even for an instant....

When it was hot they’d go to the reservoir
See they were in love and it was the first time in her life
She felt easy around anyone
It was the first time in his life that he’d ever felt right

Because he’d never felt right

Two broken hearts, oh two broken hearts together might not be broken
Together might not be broken

They swam in the cool water
They sat on the bank and with broken glass they cut their palms
The blood mixing together as they held each other’s hand
And she told him, ‘I won’t be careful anymore
With you I won’t be careful anymore’

Two broken hearts oh two broken hearts……..stay broken

In the evening they walked through their neighbourhood like they’d always do
And a man came from his house with white spit on his lips
And his tattooed arms were trembling as he chased after them
His tattooed arms were trembling as he ran after them
Because he’d always be after them

Two broken hearts oh two broken hearts

The band formed in '94 in Portland, Oregon and their most recent and 8th album is Thirteen Cities (2007), their most versatile, musically, setting country with Mariachi numbers, the blues, ambience, abstract jazz, rock, and piano ballads.

Lead singer Willy Vlautin has also recently published his first novel; The Motel Life

Image: Winner's Casino Music

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