Seminal alt-country admixture Richmond Fontaine analysis in to Clwb Ifor Bach for the final time on Sunday, as the band’s European leg of its Farewell Tour stops off in the basic city. Although it’s been over six months aback Willy Vlautin appear the group’s accordant breach afterwards a career spanning added than twenty years and a dozen albums, including abstract Post to Wire (2004), We Thought the Freeway Sounded like a River (2009) and You Can’t Go Aback if There’s Nothing to Go Aback To (2016), it still seems harder to acclaim the actuality that RF accept fabricated their final record. With the bandage polling admirers for the songs they would like played at the goodbye gigs, we should be in for a absolutely memorable black in the aggregation of a accomplished band. There ability able-bodied be a breach or two afford as the country-rock stalwarts abandon these shores for the endure time.
Here are the songs that I requested -
1. Post to Wire (2004)
A beaten affiliation that boasts a accomplished star-turn from bedfellow diva Deborah Kelly. Unsurprising, perhaps, that an columnist who’s bound some of his archetypal novels in a backroom at Portland Meadows’ amphitheater should borrow trackside argot to advance a disturbing brace stick it out from ‘Post to Wire’, but the abrupt adumbration works well. The airy bounce and addictive choir can’t absolutely affectation the raw anguish at the song’s root, as Vlautin confesses in a accommodated drawl, ‘I apperceive you’re beat out, but I’m beat out too’. Weighing in at a little over two minutes, “Post to Wire” is an ample snapshot of adulation on the rocks. Richmond Fontaine would never complete this “radio-friendly” again
2. The Boyfriends (2009)
When I stumbled aloft Richmond Fontaine at RCT’s blighted Alt-Country Festival in Pontypridd and Porthcawl (no, baby clairvoyant I am not authoritative this up), the bandage was touring We Used to Think the Freeway Sounded like a River and “The Boyfriends” was the song that chock-full me asleep in my tracks. I could define the exact moment I fell in adulation with the bandage to the band area an afflicted Vlautin began to bark ‘Please, I ain’t like that, I ain’t gonna be like that’. On the almanac itself, Paul Brainard’s blue mariachi trumpet sketches in the sad spaces amid Vlautin’s affecting adolescence recollections and seals the accord for all time.
3. A Night in the City-limits (2016)
Not too abounding bands about-face in the best almanac of their career added than two decades down the line, but You Can’t Go Aback if There’s Nothing to Go Aback To is a masterclass in Americana. There are six or seven tracks, here, that would calmly accomplish a approaching Best Of, but A Night in the City-limits is a somewhat aberant RF clue in which Vlautin croons his alone way through a mid-life crisis and it pays off in amazing style. Writing actual for his country-soul admixture The Delines, and accurately for the band’s accompanist Amy Boone, has re-invigorated Vlautin’s songwriting.”A Night in the City” is agitating affidavit of that.
4. Always on the Ride (2004)
A accompaniment section to the above “Post to Wire”, in that its anxious account is aswell active abroad below a toe-tapping tune. There’s no camouflage the abasement of the final verse, admitting –
‘I heard about Ray, he’s in Fairview now / He absent his leg in a bones / Harlin’s in Jail in Rawlins Wyoming / Doing three years for breaking and entering / Junior’s in California, he’s active with his brother in an alone house’
5. I Fell Into Painting Houses in Phoenix, Arizona (2007)
In accession to against Richmond Fontaine and The Delines, Willy Vlautin has aswell accounting four uncompromising and alarmingly acclaimed novels; The Motel Life (2007), Northline (2008), Lean On Pete (2010) and The Free (2014), anniversary of which examines the aberrant afterlife of the American Dream in brave detail. This is a song that could be filed neatly alongside those agonizing stories. The actuality that Vlautin was himself a housepainter, suggests that the song is at atomic partially autobiographical.
The next best
“Barely Losing” (2004) – An accidentally adverse tale; the charlatan is accepting a admirable old time at the racetrack, not because he is acceptable big but because he is ‘barely losing’.
“I Got Off the Bus” (2016) – Possibly acrimonious up the account of Ray Thaves, who ‘got off the bus’ in the song “Five Degrees Below Zero” way aback in 2002, abnormality off into the desert, Harry Dean Stanton style!
“Two Broken Hearts” (2004) The best anxious carol in the band’s repertoire, bar none!
“Winner’s Casino” (2002) The aperture clue of Winnemucca finds Vlautin brittle and abandoned -’All I ask is for a little money and some time / and maybe if I appear aback I’ll be sane for a while’.
“Hope and Despair” (1999) Pummeling barn rock, from the canicule afore Vlautin had unearthed his articulation from the bits of post-punk.