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Baker's Dozen

Escape To The Country: Willy Vlautin Of Richmond Fontaine's Favourite LPs
John Freeman , April 6th, 2016 09:55

Following the release of Richmond Fontaine's tenth and final album, You Can't Go Back If There Is Nothing To Go Back To, the singer and author talks to John Freeman about his favourite albums of storytelling escapism


Fernando – Leave The Radio On
Fernando was a guy that, when I first moved to Portland, was the up-and-coming songwriter. He was in a band in LA that had a major label deal and he had almost become famous a couple of times. We cut our teeth together – Richmond Fontaine's guitarist would play for him. Therefore, he is a guy I have always been friends with.

However, he kind of fell off the pace a few years ago as he had chronic throat issues, which meant he couldn't really play shows or anything. Then he had surgery and they fixed him. Now he can sing all the time. He has one of those perfect voices and is one of the best singer-performers in the whole of the northwest of the US.

This album is like his comeback record and I think it is his strongest. He was so frustrated by his own physical limitations and when the problem got fixed, he had all these amazing songs. The album is produced by Mike Coykendall, who is in M Ward's band, and Luther Russell, who is a hotshot producer in Los Angeles. The album is psychedelic rock & roll and he writes really good lyrics. It's a really classic record and I hope Fernando gets the recognition he deserves, as he was sidelined for too many years with his throat problems.