I spent all day reading Willy Vlautin's new novel,
, and listening to his band Richmond Fontaine's latest release,
, which locates a middle ground between the panoramic country-rock of 2003's
and the hushed acoustic textures of 2005's
Both are experiences in storytelling, which led me to pen a Vlautin-inspired story—er, review, of my own. Like punk's DIY ethos that taught kids that anyone can play an instrument, Vlautin makes you feel that everyone has stories that deserve to be heard. And he knows how much music can mean to those stories, too.
comes out Tuesday, May 22.