Willy Vlautin

Author, Musician

Willy Vlautin is an acclaimed author and musician.  He fronts the band Richmond Fontaine, who released their 10th and final studio album, the masterful You Can't Go Back If There's Nothing To Go Back To via Decor/Fluff & Gravy Records in March 2016.  He is also a member of the acclaimed band The Delines along with Amy Boone of Damnations TX, Jenny Conlee of the Decemberists, Tucker Jackson of the Minus 5, and Sean Oldham of Richmond Fontaine.   Willy is well known for his critically acclaimed novels, The Motel Life, Northline, Lean on Pete and The Free, all published by Harper Perennial.  The Motel Life was adapted as a major motion picture starring Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff, Dakota Fanning, and Kris Kristofferson and The Drive-By Truckers song "Pauline Hawkins" is based on The Free's protagonist.   This is Willy's Fidelity High: Willie Nelson // Greatest Hits (& Some That Will Be) // Columbia Records // 1981.  Willy says, "Willie Nelson has always been one of my saints. More than a musician.  He’s the long haired hippy who made it into my mom’s house and into her record collection.  Through all the years, her boyfriends, two stereos, three puppies, and her ever increasing right wing bent Willie Nelson’s Greatest Hits & Some That Will Be survived and played in our house.  He did what he wanted and how he wanted and she gave him a free pass. Even his politics didn’t do him in.  And her liking him gave me hope that maybe someday she’d ease up on her ideas of me.  It’s hard to explain how great it was to hear 'I’d Have to Be Crazy' and 'Look What Thoughts Will Do' while living there.  It was like a saint coming from heaven to protect me or at least keep me company.  When I moved out I took the record, I still have it, and whenever my life falls apart or I get bad or hard news I put it on. And every time it works.  Even after thirty years it’s still like a saint coming down to check on me."