The Beast In Its Tracks
It was somehow fitting that I sat down and opened Josh Ritter’s new album right before Valentine’s Day. It only took one sentence of the liner notes to grab me –
“My marriage ended on November 1, 2010.”
What’s printed on the thin cardboard sleeve for this advanced release CD is an honest note from Ritter. He writes like a friend, telling us about how he fell apart after his divorce and then met someone new. He tells us that these songs are what came from that experience. He doesn’t apologize for the rawness of the music, but he owns it. And he writes, “Listening to it now makes me very proud.” The Beast In Its Tracks officially comes out March 5th…here are a few songs:
Josh Ritter – “Love Is Making Its Way Back Home”
It’s always great to hear new music from Josh Ritter. His new EP, Bringing In The Darlings is out today, and this is the single. As always, Ritter’s voice and lyrics are delightful in this tune…but what really leaves an impression is this music video. It’s created by a group called Prominent Figures and it’s made with 12,000 pieces of construction paper and no effects added in post! Check it out:
Josh Ritter – “Girl In The War”
Tonight, our mvy LIVE was a set from Josh Ritter at Newport Folk Festival, 2009. Listening back reminded me of how much I adore this amazing singer/songwriter…and how phenomenal he is live in concert. He performs this stunning song during his live set at Newport. **YOU CAN LISTEN TO THAT SET HERE.
Josh Ritter – So Runs the World Away
This is another album that jumps out at me when I think about 2010. Especially because I saw most of these songs performed live, they’ve got a special place in my heart. From the beautifully told, somber tale of “The Curse” to the upbeat sing-along, “Lantern”, Josh Ritter brings more gorgeous lyrics and unique compositions to our ears with So Runs the World Away.
Favorite tracks: “The Curse”, “Change Of Time”, “Folk Bloodbath”, “Lark”
Check out if you like:
So Runs the World Away
Josh Ritter – “The Curse”
This tune is still one of my favorite tracks from Josh Ritter’s new album, So Runs The World Away. Ritter’s drummer, Liam Hurley created this beautiful video for the song using puppets. Check it out:
This past weekend I saw Josh Ritter at the Orpheum Theatre in Boston and it still seems pretty dreamlike. It was incredible how (with the help of his tight band) he could get us up on our feet, singing along to one rockin’ tune and then have us seated and pin-drop quiet, listening intently to another.
What was most striking for me was the huge grin Ritter had on his face for the entire show. What a genuinely humble and happy guy! It’s so obvious that he just LOVES being up there and that happiness spread quickly throughout the audience. It had been a long time since I sat at a packed concert and felt like everyone else was just as focused on the show as I was.
Ritter stirred the audience into a frenzy with a bunch of familiar tunes including “Rumors”, “Good Man”, “Kathleen”, “Right Moves”, and “Snow Is Gone”. I was also happy to hear a lot of new material from So Runs The World Away. There were many extremely tender tunes mixed with some big, fierce, awe-inspiring rock songs. Across the board, Ritter’s songs are filled with top-notch writing.
I knew a couple who drove all the way from upstate New York to see the show even though they had just seen him play a few weeks before. As the night drew to an end, I knew exactly why they had to see it again.
Josh Ritter – “Kathleen”
There are so many incredible lines in Josh Ritter’s songs. Seeing and hearing some of his lyrics during a live show really took my breath away. The words I remember being most struck by were the opening lines in “Kathleen”. This is a song I’ve heard over and over, but there was something very special about sitting in the audience, watching his expression and feeling the energy of the music and the room. I was really struck by these words, and I’d bet almost every other female in the audience felt the same way!
“All the other girls here are stars—
you are the Northern Lights.
They try to shine in through your curtain—
you’re too close and too bright.
They try and they try but everything that they do,
is the ghost of a trace of a pale imitation of you.”
I’ve been listening to Josh Ritter’s new album, So Runs The World Away non-stop lately. I was psyched to see that he stopped by Daytrotter recently to perform live… he did a mix of old and new tunes.
CHECK IT OUT.
Josh Ritter – So Runs The World Away
I’ve been completely enthralled with this album for the past few days. It’s hard for me to even comprehend how Josh Ritter writes the way he does. He is, by far, one of the best storytellers I’ve ever encountered. Just take my favorite cut off the album for instance. “The Curse” tells the story of a mummy and the woman who discovers him. Who thinks to write about that?! And who does it with such eloquence? And such a beautiful melody?
“He opens his eyes
Falls in love at first sight
With the girl in the doorway
What beautiful lines
How full of life
After thousands of years
What a face to wake up to
He holds back a sigh
As she touches his arm
She dusts off the bed
Where ‘til now he’s been sleeping
Under miles of stone
The dry fig of his heart
Under scarab and bones
Starts back to its beating…”
This album is filled with gorgeous words and melodies. It’s one of my favorites of the year so far. A must listen!
Besides “The Curse”, I also really love “Change Of Time”, “Folk Bloodbath”, “Lark”, “Lantern”, and “Long Shadows”.
NPR’s First Listen let’s you hear the entire record.