YOU CAN’T GO BACK IF THERE’S NOTHING TO GO BACK TO
Decor Records …
More misery from the kings of literate rock
It doesn’t seem like five years since Portland, Oregon based Richmond Fontaine released THE HIGH COUNTRY, a tragic tale of drugs, poverty, violence and desperation. YOU CAN’T GO BACK IF THERE’S NOTHING TO GO BACK TO delivers much of the same with 13 self-penned numbers taking an in-depth look at those ‘paying the price for the way one’s lived’.
Author/songwriter Willy Vlautin (vocals), Sean
Oldham (drums), Dan Eccles (guitar), Paul Brainard (pedal steel), Freddy Trujillo (bass) and Jenny Conlee (keyboards) bring us desperate stories of guys that ‘have hit the wall, are about to hit the wall or are in the middle of slamming into it’. Joint founder and former bassist Dave Harding, who has now moved to Europe, contributes some neat guitar.
The album veers from standard country rock, ideally suited to Vlautin’s gravelly vocals (Wake Up Ray), to more sedate fare where he almost talks his way through the misery (Easy Run; Whitey And Me). As expected, the songwriting is of the highest quality and the band do a sterling job.
The highlight for me was Tapped Out In Tulsa where a middle-aged guy loses his job in a trade off for a fling with an unstable 19 year old girl. The song just about sums up the album, which should be avoided if you want cheering up! Classic Americana. John Roffey
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