Episode 64 - Fernando Viciconte

Argentina-born Fernando Viciconte came of age musically in L.A. fronting the popular hard rock band Monkey Paw. He moved to Portland, OR, in 1994 and released Season in Hell, a downbeat collection of country rock. Almost immediately, he became a Northwest musical institution.

In 2001, Fernando founded his own label and released Dreams of the Sun and Sky, a gorgeous collection of gauzy, narcotic tracks with Latin and country-folk accents. The Oregonian named this album a top ten release of 2001. In 2006, Fernando returned from a hiatus from music and he delivered his most critically received record to date: Enter to Exit.

For this project, Fernando teamed up with long time friends from the Eels, Jeff “Chet” Lyster (who also plays guitar for Lucinda Williams) and Derek Brown and Paul Brainard from Richmond Fontaine, Lewi Longmire and John Amadon to make what many critics called one of the best pop rock records of 2006. Magnet Magazine went as far as naming Fernando one of the best new artists of 2006 in their year end issue. The album also garnered glowing reviews from Billboard, Paste, Amplifier, No Depression, and MSNBC.com.

Fast forward to 2015, with Fernando's most recent release, Leave The Radio On. 

Leave The Radio On features a virtual who’s who of Portland’s finest musicians, including Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey as well as members of M.Ward, Elliott Smith, Richmond Fontaine and The Delines. This is a new chapter in Fernando’s ever-evolving musical trajectory, a career marked by creative integrity and an almost painful honesty which attracts fans that still believe in the redemptive power of rock and roll.

Fernando was also be inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame in October of 2016. We have been following his career since it began and are so excited to finally have him on the program. A truly unique artist, he is a troubadour, a story teller, a traveling musical monk who reflects the grit, the devastation and the transformational beauty of a life lived in service of rhythm, harmony and the melodic sensations of our shared emergence. His music is familiar because it reminds us of deep, latent truth hidden in the storehouses of our collective experiences. He is a musical mirror for us to see ourselves in a new, yet utterly recognizable, manner. We hope you enjoy him as much as we do.

Photo Credit: Dan Eccles