photo (c) Roger Liptrot

Richmond Fontaine: we love them. Everybody loves them. A collection of beautifully simpatico musicians fronted by a songwriter/novelist who apparently has a hotline to the very soul of America: what’s not to like?

With Willy Vlautin’s third novel winning rave reviews and literary prizes across the board and his first being eyed up by movie producers, one wonders how long Richmond Fontaine will be playing the intimate shows in which they excel. That being the case, there was no way we were going to miss this show: Willy and guitarist Dan Eccles playing as a duo and topping an amazing bill that also saw sets from Richard Buckner and Peter Bruntnell.

The band’s current album remains 2011’s The High Country: an ambitious, desolate collection of songs which was effectively a Vlautin novel set to music. After a highly acclaimed tour that saw the full band perform the entire LP in order every night, this short series of duo dates must come as light relief to the two guitarists. Not that the songs stray far from Willy’s trademark tales of hope glimmering in the shards of lives shattered by bad luck and worse decisions.

Eccles and Vlautin played a great career-spanning set in front of the partisan audience and ended the night by bringing the two support acts back to the stage for an eclectic trio of covers. The sound in the venue (once known as the Derby Hall, and scene of the legendary Joy Division riot, as if we needed to remind you) was immaculate and I think our board & mics recording captures it beautifully. It’s not a typical RF show by any means, but we’ve got plenty of those in the Manchestertaper vaults – let us know if you’d like us to post more of this fantastic band.

This show was a Mr Kite Benefit and we would respectfully request that you visit his site and consider making a donation to one of his good causes after downloading the recording. Special thanks go to Rich, Mr Kite and Terry, Nathan & all at the Met for a great gig and helping us make this recording.

Stream “Always on the Ride”:

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Download complete show in mp3 format (click here)

Download complete show in FLAC format (click here)


We Used to Think the Freeway Sounded Like a River
The Boyfriends
Lost in the Trees
Postcard from California
Don’t Go Back There
I Fell into Painting Houses in Phoenix, Arizona
Ruby & Lou
Let Me Dream of the High Country
Postcard Written With a Broken Hand
Always on the Ride
The Kid From Belmont
Incident at Conklin Creek
Postcard Postmarked Phoenix, AZ
Making it Back
You Can Move Back Here
Still Looking For You
I Can’t Hold Myself in Line

If you download and enjoy this music we would fully expect you to support the artist by buying their records and attending their gigs. Richmond Fontaine’s official website is here and their releases can be purchased from record shops of quality and distinction such as Piccadilly Records.