Josh Ritter with a Beautiful Gretsch
… And now I return to Americana music. I have been following Josh Ritter for a long time. He is one of my favourite artists of all time. He hails from Moscow, Idaho. A city I have never been to, but I have been to Moscow, Russia. He has a way with words and a way with chords. I believe he has given a lot to folk and Americana and like all Americana musicians he plays a small body Gibson.
He comes to DC a lot which is great and like many performers he loves the 930 club. He is one of the most charming performers I have ever seen. He has a lot of dialogue with the audience and it really shows how much he loves his fans.
He released an album last year called So Runs Away the World. I have to admit after The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter, I didn’t know if I could like anything as much. SRATW grew on me at first I wasn’t sure if I liked it but now it’s one of my favourite albums, of all. He did an amazing reinterpretation of the Stagger Lee story on “Folk Bloodbath”. “Lantern” is my favourite song and now a standard on his set list.
These are my favourite Josh Ritter song not in any particular order
“Galahad” – I first heard this at his concert in February, it is the tale of Sir Galahad encountering an “angel” and then going to heaven . This song inspired me to start finger picking.
“To the Dogs or Whoever…” – The starter of the historical conquests album. It’s a very strong song and it makes for a great concert opener. It’s rapid fire and loud. I like it a lot.
“Girl in the War” – Tells the story of a love stuck in the water and a dialogue between Peter and Paul. Beautiful imagery and he rhymes kingdom with kingdom.
“Harrisburg” – I like that is an adventure song. Although it is a sad story of a man running away from his live. He plays this song acoustically on the album but in concert it is a full band and Zach Hickman sings “Papa was a Rollin Stone” during the last verse. Damn great Song.
“Lillian, Egypt” – Chorus just goes La La La. This usually drives me crazy, but not when Josh is singing.
“Good Man” – I recently realized I like this song. I listen to Josh Ritter a lot but I don’t always remember the title of the song.
“Temptation of Adam” – Beautiful and nuclear, if you have ever longed for someone but they didn’t see you as more than a friend this song is for you. Although I was never trapped in a missile silo.
I would recommend starting off with The Historical Conquests and then going on from there. There are a bunch of Youtube videos also, but I’m going to post the here. You’ll have to go find out for yourself.
If he ever comes to your town go out, buy a ticket and enjoy.