Oregon artist Willy Vlautin’s songs often read like very compact fiction, which is not surprising given his parallel career as a writer. Vlautin’s first novel, The Motel Life, was made into a film last year (starring Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff, with Kris Kristofferson among the cast). His fourth novel, The Free, was just published this month. His country-rock band Richmond Fontaine has been a Portland fixture for years. Vlautin and guitarist Dan Eccles visited OPB to record these songs as part of an Oregon Art Beat feature. These two songs, “Wake up Ray” and “I Fell Into Painting Houses in Phoenix, Arizona,” each tell a short Vlautin story.

Here’s the Art Beat story about Willy Vlautin, produced by OPB’s Robe Imbriano. It includes Vlautin reading from his work and talking about his writing process and his music. You can watch Art Beat on OPB-TV Thursdays at 8pm.


Audio recording: Steven Kray, with Randy Layton and William Ward
Videographers: Greg Bond, Nate Sjol, Jarratt Taylor
Performance videos edited by: Jarratt Taylor
Executive Producer: David Christensen