Shadowlands the new album from Romantica is a real delight, a lovely amalgam of musical style and era, the back-bone of which are a series of wonderful laid-back melodic hazy alt-country songs which are aptly punctuated by a more traditional sounding track, a tribute to the late great Gram Parsons, “Cecil Ingram Conor” which provides the nexus to the essence of this album of Cosmic American Music.
Also confirmed for 2017 are the legendary songwriter Chip Taylor, rising country singer-songwriter Andrew Combs, acclaimed Belfast-based band Arborist, and Yolo Carter, who is making giant strides both in the UK and the US with her brand of country soul.
Los Angeles’ The Americans make their European debut, so too emerging country gospel star Paul Cauthen, the ‘Queen Of Oklahoma’ Carter Sampson, Ireland’s own David Kitt and Western Centuries, a straight-ahead country band featuring Jim Miller (Donna The Buffalo) and Cahalen Morrison.
Scattered around a number of venues in the beautiful historical city of Kilkenny, situated an hour south of Dublin, the Kilkenny Roots Festival has been a staple on the roots circuit for a number of years and has attracted a loyal, hardcore following that makes the festival one of the ‘must attend’ events and most enjoyable on the calendar. Alongside the ticketed events there is a free Music Trail that gives the chance to a number of local bands to perform across the four days of the festival.
Tickets for the individual shows are available now here or in person from Rollercoaster Records in Kilkenny.
Richmond Fontaine will play a string of 6 UK dates this October- including London Electric Ballroom on October 21 2016- their final ever tour before founding member and songwriter Willy Vlautin disbands his cult group. Coming in the wake of Richmond Fontaine’s critically applauded tenth and final album YOU CAN’T GO BACK IF THERE’S NOTHING TO GO BACK TO (out now through Décor Records), which topped the official Americana charts and made Rough Trade’s Album of The Month, the farewell tour will also take in a support slot opening up for the band’s idol Willie Nelson and a handful of European festival appearances.
It’s been a twenty year ride, and a good one. At the start of 2016, just prior to the release of YOU CAN’T GO BACK IF THERE’S NOTHING TO GO BACK TO, Vlautin let out the sad news that the record would also be their last, saying; “Richmond Fontaine has had a great 20+ year run and these guys are my best pals so it’s a tough decision but the right one.” That said, the band’s swansong is also throwing up some consolatory ‘firsts’ – Richmond Fontaine will be reissuing their classic albums The Fitzgeraldand Thirteen Cities on 180gm vinyl for the very first time, just ahead of the live dates on October 14th. The farewell tour will also feature a requests portion of the show, where fans can choose their top ten tracks for the band to play- either leave a message on the bands’ Facebook page, tweet using the hashtag #RichmondFontaineRequests or email at firstname.lastname@example.org . The top ten choices will be picked a month before the tour and worked into the set.
Alongside the activity of his other band The Delines, Vlautin continues to remain in demand as a critically acclaimed author (published through Faber & Faber) who is revered by his fellow writers (Roddy Doyle, Donna Tartt and George Pelecanos are all fans). A BFI/Film4 film adaptation of his novel Lean on Pete- starring Steve Buscemi and Chloe Sevigny- is shooting this summer, directed by the Oscar-nominated Stephen Haigh (45 Years). This will be the second of Willy’s novels to be translated for the big screen, with the adaptation of his first book The Motel Life released in 2006, starring Kris Kristofferson and Dakota Fanning.
Recorded and produced in Portland, Oregon by John Askew at Flora Studios, YOU CAN’T GO BACK features the stalwart lineup of Willy Vlautin on guitar/vocals, Sean Oldham on drums, Dan Eccles on guitar, and Paul Brainard on pedal steel. Freddy Trujillo joins on bass from The Delines, longtime friend Jenny Conlee (The Decemberists) plays keyboards. This album catches Vlautin’s songwriting at his strongest. Often compared to Springsteen and Lou Reed, Vlautin has established his own voice over his widely acclaimed ten LPs and four novels, and YOU CAN’T GO BACK IF THERE’S NOTHING TO GO BACK TO finds the band at its very best. Richmond Fontaine again has produced a wealth of beautifully executed story songs, the ilk of which is rarely matched in today’s musical landscape.
Formed in 1994, Richmond Fontaine rose to fame in 2004 off the back of their 5th album, Post To Wire, it went on to sell over 20,000 copies and earned them places in the top 10 year end polls which was again repeated the following year with their album,The Fitzgerald. The press snowballed with those and the following three albums which saw the band playing Green Man, Primavera, End of the Road, while building a loyal following over the last 11 years. Vlautin is a successful author with four novels published via Faber & Faber.
Oct 16 – Cardiff – Clwb Ifor Bach 7:00 *^
Oct 17 – Manchester – Deaf Institute 7:30 *^
Oct 18 – Edinburgh – The Caves – 7:30 *^
Oct 19 – Hebden Bridge – Trades Club 7:30 *^
Oct 20 – Nottingham – The Maze 7:30 SOLD OUT *^
Oct 21 – London – Electric Ballroom – last ever UK show
* Peter Bruntnell supporting ^ Jerry Joseph supporting