+ Th. Hoffmann
Actually the name is in honor of a burned-out but noble hippie who helped out a band member when his car broke down in Baja, Mexico. The band itself is from vibrating Portland, Oregon and was formed in 1994. After touring the Pacific Northwest for the duration of the production of their first three albums they ventured across the Atlantic to a favorable reception. They’re now more popular over here than they were ever over there. Richmond Fontaine excels with a punkish alt-country sound and the band’s gained notoriety for its rambunctious live shows. Their compositions are in that vein as well, striking an acerbic literary chord. The title of their 11th and possibly last album «You Can’t Go Back If There’s Nothing To Go Back To» brilliantly supports that notion.
Writer-in-chief and leader of the quartet is Willy Vlautin and he says that «…It’s for all the characters who run against a wall or who’re just about ready to do so. It’s an album about the price to be paid to life for the way we’ve lived it.» There you have it, life sucks and karma is a bitch. The main title of the album is the laconic «Got Off The Bus» and it tells about a guy who promised to pick up the band at the stop but doesn’t show, the father-in-law of an ex- who doesn’t want to know Willy anymore, the local cop who doesn’t care whether he grew up there if he lies down drunk in the middle of his road. A trip through the Nevada desert brought an encounter with a worn-down and scarred old mustang about to be put down. Willy: «The characters appearing in the album are like this old horse – marked by life and a tough road behind them.»
Life is no bowl of cherries. Ok, but we sure hope you show up anyway to greet this powerful band. Worn down and scars and all.