Formed in 1994, Richmond Fontaine started touring the Pacific Northwest live circuit to support their first two albums released on Cavity Search Records followed by Lost Son and Winnemucca where they started touring the US. The band was named after an American expat, “a burned out hippy”, that had helped bassist Dave Harding when his car was stuck in the desert in Baja Mexico. Upon signing with décor records the band released ‘Post To Wire’ in Europe for 2004 which saw them finally get the attention they deserved with UNCUT magazine giving it a 5 star album of the month and putting it as the 4th best album of the year in the polls. The band opened for American Music Club in the UK and began touring Europe to great success. The band went on to produce another three albums with JD Foster including the sparse ‘The Fitzgerald’ which again was given a 5 start ‘Album of the Month’ in UNCUT. Followed by ‘Thirteen Cities’ and ‘We Used to Think The Freeway Sounded Like A River’ The band were to play European festivals from 2005-2010 including Primavera, End of the Road, Green Man, Kilkenny Roots, Summer Sundae, Take Root and a host of others. After the 2011 release of The High Country which was a concept novel set to music the band took a break and recorded a side project under the name The Delines. 2016 saw the band release their 10th album. “You Can’t Go Back If There’s Nothing To Go Back To” to massive critical acclaim with a 9/10 review in UNCUT, 5/5 in Record Collector and feature in the Observer newspaper plus a sold out tour in April, just before the tour the band announced this would be their last album and are currently planing for their October 2016 Farewell tour.
Underpinned by lead singer and songwriter, Willy Vlautin‘s lyrics, Richmond Fontaine songs often evoke imagery of Willy’s birthplace, Reno, Nevada, his current home, Portland, Oregon and the American West while telling stories in a style that critics have compared to Raymond Carver. Musically the group has cited influences such as Husker Du, Gram Parsons, Dylan, X, Green on Red, The Blasters and Mike Watt.
Vlautin is also a published writer. His first novel, The Motel Life was published in 2006, followed by Northline in 2008 and Lean on Pete in 2010. Northline included a soundtrack CD by Willy Vlautin and Paul Brainard. The novel was well-reviewed by George Pelecanos. Vlautin has also had stories published in literary journals such as Zembla, Cold Drill, Southeast Review, and Chiron Review. His fourth novel The Free came out in 2014 and he is currently working on the follow up. David Harding has moved to Copenhagen with his family and was replaced by Freddy Trujillo on bass from The Delines, Sean Oldham is fixing up a new house where he can raising chickens, Daniel Eccles is playing with Fernando and numerous other bands
- Safety (1996) Cavity Search
- Miles From (1997) Cavity Search
- Lost Son (1999) El Cortez/decor
- Winnemucca (2002) El Corteze/decor
- Post to Wire (2004) decor
- The Fitzgerald (2005) decor
- Obliteration by Time (2006) El Cortez – new versions of the first two albums
- Thirteen Cities (2007) decor
- We Used To Think The Freeway Sounded Like A River (2009) decor
- The High Country (2011) decor
- You Can’t Go Back If There’s Nothing To Go Back To (2016) decor
The Band have also released four limited edition tour cds with the latest Postcard from Portland:Live At Dantes still in stock