Category Archives: Beat Surrender

​Richmond Fontaine – Farewell Tour & Vinyl Reissues

Richmond Fontaine - Press shot 600x900pix

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 . 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

Erin Rae and The Meanwhiles – Soon Enough + UK Dates


Following the UK release of ‘Soon Enough’ on Clubhouse Records, Nashville’s Erin Rae and The Meanwhiles make their first trip to our shores for a string of headline shows this Autumn. They’ll then support Cale Tyson on his second UK tour this year which will take them all the way up to Stornaway.

Headline shows
Oct 25th – Bucks Students’ Union, High Wycombe
Oct 26th – Square Tower, Portsmouth
Oct 28th – Union at Elephant and Castle, Lewes
Oct 29th – Tingewick Village Hall, Nr. Buckingham
Oct 30th – The Golden Lion, Bristol
Oct 31st – The Green Note, London
Nov 1st – Blue Moon, Cambridge
Nov 2nd – Biddulph Arms, Biddulph

Then Erin Rae and The Meanwhiles join good friend Cale Tyson as support on a tour that takes in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Stornaway! Click here for more details.

Erin Rae / Twitter

erin 2

Vinyl Love – The Spitfires – A Thousand Times

A Thousand Times 7-Inch Boxset (Limited Edition)
Limited 7” Box Set includes 5 x Black Vinyl 7”s featuring the complete album, band photo insert all encased in a Hard Shell 7” Box Set

A Thousand Times Black Vinyl LP

Saturday 27th August – The Haunt Brighton
Friday 9th September – Audio, Glasgow
Saturday 10th September – Bodega, Nottingham
Friday 16th September – O2 Islington Academy, London
Saturday 17th September – O2 Academy2, Newcastle
Saturday 24th September – Ruby Lounge, Manchester
Saturday 1st October – Joiners, Southampton
Friday 7th October – O2 Academy3, Birmingham
Friday 11th November – Chinnerys, Southend
Saturday 12th November – Boileroom, Guildford
Friday 18th November – Zanzibar, Liverpool
Saturday 19th November – The Scholar, Leicester


The Spitfires / Facebook / Twitter

FuzzQueen, Q&A + Album News + first single from the bands forthcoming releases

Beat Surrender favorites Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray have featured a number of times on the blog, now Erin and Chris are back with new material with longtime friend and collaborator Ben Tufts as FuzzQueen, the band are set to release two EPs later this year, with the first single, Sailing Empty Tonight released today I took the opportunity to ask the band a few questions.


BS. I can identify elements in Sailing Empty Tonight that appear to have being distilled from tracks on the Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray album Lean Into the Wind; following on from this release was there a single defining moment that prompted the shift to the new band identity and sound, or was it a more complex evolution ?

“The shift to renaming the band FuzzQueen was gradual and organic. Although Ben had a lot of influence on the songs on Lean Into the Wind by playing them live on the road before we recorded, most of those songs were written ahead of time by Chris and Erin. Most of those songs told the story of our life together on the road. This new material was written very intentionally. We focused on writing together for a month in California. Ben was integral to the creative process, arrangement, instrumentation, and he contributed a song that will be included on one of the new FuzzQueen EPs out later this year. In addition to feeling like the band had grown into another entity entirely, we felt like our identity and focus had shifted more toward the psychedelic and rock elements that had begun to peek out on Lean Into the Wind.”

BS. Can you tell us a little more about the forthcoming releases and the decision to split the new material over two EPs ?

“We wanted to give FuzzQueen a proper introduction. Originally we envisioned the group of songs as a full album. There are some really heavy themes on it though, and it made sense to break it into two more digestible pieces that will give time for reflection, but will complement each other. We have always been ones to lean toward complete thoughts and complete albums, even though we’re constantly being told that it’s a world for singles. So the idea of a series, or of a complete thought in two parts is very appealing. It’s the opposite of disposable art of convenience. It breathes, it has to take time and eventually everything will be complete and understood. There are musical and ideological themes that will be revisited and magnified on the second EP. We hope that listeners can become enveloped in the process of it, the way we have been.”

BS. This track is making it difficult to tag the band with a specific genre or sound, it’s very organic – if music can be described as such, can you elaborate on the songs genesis?

“Chris had these two different guitar parts that he insisted went together. I was resistant to the idea because they were in two totally different keys. But then he played it and it worked. You should never let what you’ve learned to be true get in the way of what you can create.

After that the song came together easily. We used imagery from an Ancient Egyptian myth as a proxy for personal relationships. The new EPs explore themes of small interpersonal relationships as well as large community relationships and their shortcomings. It was important for us to include hammered dulcimer on the album because earlier in the year Chris inherited several of the instruments from his grandfather who passed away. Ben tuned it, and tuned it, and tuned it, and played it.

We’ve always had diverse influences and are musical explorers in a way. We’ve never cared too much about genre as much as we care about good songwriting and feel. I’d say the inclusion of acoustic instruments is a nod toward psych folk, but there is a lot of 90s rock going on here too.”


BS. Xenia, a really interesting album/EP title, how did you decide on it?

“Xenia is an Ancient Greek concept (we’re apparently just living in the ancient world on this project) of generosity to the stranger. The idea was that a stranger in need might be a god in disguise, so you should extend a warm welcome. It has the same root as Xenophobia, something we hear a lot about in the news these days. Xenia is the perfect description for this project. While we explore some dark territory about the ways in which we are strangers to each other, there is an underlying thread of togetherness on both EPs.”

Q5. Future band plans?

“We all just moved into a house in DC together where we’re looking forward to curating live music and art events. We’re playing regionally because we’ve never been together consistently and have never had the opportunity to have a local home community as a band! The DC music and art scene is vibrant, it’s inspiring and conducive to working hard on what we love. We’ve already started writing new material as FuzzQueen and have some side projects in the works too.”

FuzzQueen / Facebook / Twitter

John Prine – For Better Or Worse – “Color Of The Blues” Featuring Susan Tedeschi

John Prine/Iris DeMent – Who’s Gonna Take The Garbage Out
John Prine/Lee Ann Womack – Storms Never Last
John Prine/Alison Krauss – Falling in Love Again
John Prine/Susan Tedeschi – Color of the Blues
John Prine/Holly Williams – I’m Telling You
John Prine/Kathy Mattea – Remember Me (When Candlelights Are Gleaming)
John Prine/Morgane Stapleton – Look At Us
John Prine/Amanda Shires – Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Loud, Loud Music
John Prine/Lee Ann Womack – Fifteen Years Ago
John Prine/Miranda Lambert – Cold, Cold Heart
John Prine/Kathy Mattea – Dreaming My Dreams With You
John Prine/Kacey Musgraves – Mental Cruelty
John Prine/Iris DeMent – Mr. & Mrs. Used to Be
John Prine/Fiona Prine – My Happiness
John Prine – Just Waitin’

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