5 Reasons To Go See - Willy Vlautin
- Doug Johnstone
- 24 April 2008
- He’s an amazing singer, songwriter and frontman
For the last 14 years, Vlautin has fronted Richmond Fontaine, the alt.country outfit based in Portland, Oregon. Eight finely crafted albums have seen him evoke the ghost of Gram Parsons in telling intimate tales of the American West’s downtrodden underclass.
- And he’s a fantastic writer
Vlautin has two utterly compelling novels under his belt, The Motel Life and most recently Northline. Both books evoke the ghost of Raymond Carver in telling intimate tales of, ahem, the American West’s downtrodden underclass. Honestly, though, they are fucking amazing.
- And he’s crossing the streams
Foolishly ignoring the advice of Spengler in Ghostbusters (‘Don’t cross the streams!’), Vlautin is crossing the streams of music and literature. The first edition of Northline came with a CD of instrumental music penned by him and fellow Richmond Fontainer Paul Brainard, soundtracking his novel’s action. Vlautin plans to play some of this alongside dipping into the fine Richmond Fontaine back catalogue.
- And he’s playing through the pain barrier
He recently broke his arm when thrown from his horse (a former racehorse he saved from the knackers’ yard). After surgery, he’s recovered quickly, and should be able to wield a guitar. Here’s hoping.
- And he’s fantastic company
Vlautin is a born entertainer, storyteller and raconteur, and if this show doesn’t include some top between-song-banter, we’ll eat our cowboy boots.
The Arches, Glasgow, Thu 1 May.