On The Stereo – Richmond Fontaine

Originally published on State.ie

Richmond Fontaine – ‘I Fell Into Painting Houses In Phoenix, Arizona’

There are few modern American writers out there to match Richmond Fontaine’s Willy Vlautin. As a musician, those in love with Americana will find much to love in Vlautin’s lyrics of the losers, boozers and gamblers of blue collar America. Like Springsteen in particular, he’s a deft touch at creating lyrically powerful songs that conjure up ceaseless images. ‘I Fell Into Painting Houses In Phoenix, Arizona’, from 2007’s Thirteen Cities, is one such tune. Listening to it, it’ll come as little surprise to learn that Vlautin, having fronted the Portland based outfit for well over a decade, has began to garner huge acclaim as a novelist. Last year’s Lean On Pete was as close as they come to a modern American masterpiece with the Irish Times’s Eileen Battersby proclaiming — “how good is contemporary US fiction? This good: catch your breath good.” One not to ignore.

Steve Cummins


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