Fernando Viciconte-the 2016 Oregon Music Hall of Famer with twenty years of local and national acclaim under his belt-crawls from the wreckage of the recent past unbowed, bruised but unbroken. He has survived major surgery for a throat condition and thus what could have been existential silence for ‘that voice’. It’s a voice that caused countless rags like Billboard, Magnet, Paste, The Oregonian, No Depression (and on and on) plus fellow musicians like Peter Buck from REM, Don Dixon, and Steve Wynn to rave wildly about the feeling it evokes when he’s singing his songs of dark despair and faint hope. These rock n roll laments, in both Spanish and English have captured the imaginations of his hometown for seven records, countless compilations, and memorable shows. Now Fernando–and ‘that voice’ –has emerged stronger than ever with a full-length LP entitled “Leave the Radio On”, produced with Luther Russell (Fever the Ghost, Richmond Fontaine) & Mike Coykendall (M.Ward, She and Him) and led off by his first 45 release ever, “The Dogs b/w “Donna (The Pride Of Topeka)’ as well as several major upcoming tours. The new album features a virtual who’s who of Portland’s finest musicians, including Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey of REM and members of M.Ward, Elliott Smith, Richmond Fontaine and The Delines. This is a new chapter in Viciconte’s ever-evolving musical trajectory, a career marked by creative integrity and an almost painful honesty which attracts fans from high and low that still believe in the redemptive power of rock and roll. And ‘that voice’.
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, in 1996. His sophomore effort, Widows, saw a harder-edged approach that at times recalled his Southern California days. The Spanish language album Pacoima (1998) represented an abrupt shift as Fernando explored his So Cal barrio roots, swinging from border rock to Tex-Mex to Mexican R&B. Sure enough, he changed gears yet again for Old Man Motel (1999), indulging in a powerful collection of relatively straight-ahead rock. 2001 found Fernando leaving Cravedog Records for his own label Domingo Records which released Dreams of the Sun and Sky, a startlingly 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 with 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 2010 to the release of Fernando’s most recent release True Instigator. This album sees Fernando exploring his Americana, Spanish and classic country roots to make what is soon to be a classic Northwest release. The album was recorded with famed producer Adam Selzer (Norfolk and Western, M. Ward) at Type Foundry Studio in Portland, Oregon. Fernando is currently in the Studio working on his 8th CD which he is recording with Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey (REM, Minus 5, Baseball Project) and his long time band.The album is being co-produced by Mike Coykendall and Fernando at Blue Room Studios and will be released in late 2014 or early 2015.