GOLDEN AGE OF RADIO (Signature Sounds) Josh Ritter
Sometimes it works better when you dont really own any records till youre a senior in high school. Maybe you grew up in Moscow, Idaho, or something, and one of the only records your parents have is Nashville Skyline. Yeah, thats it.
It worked for Josh Ritter, tell you that. The sandy haired creature of the sticks has hit the ground running in the States and the UK, and is being likened to Nick Drake, Townes and Prine. But on loping groovers like the radio friendly "Me and Jiggs," he sounds a step ahead of more self conscious alt-country acts haunted by heroes. On "Anne" the chord progression even leans toward rock alternative, but without distortion, the guitar and the melody is fresh, the lyrics the picture of his determined melancholy. He actually calls it scared determination.
Its endearing to hear a budding hot songwriter when theres still a trace of humility in their voice, and before theyre beaten down by the business. Hes taking off so fast (in folk terms of course -- its all relative) that he may just bypass the rejection that most singer songwriters know too well. Josh Ritter left his home after Oberlin College for Boston (hed commute from Providence, actually, for a while, a less daunting locale), the belly of the new folk beast, in his early 20s. A few years later, he was already wowing crowds in Ireland.
I first heard about him in a half page ad in No Depression magazine, so the maverick Signature Sounds record company in MA has got him on a fast track, opening up nationally for big acts. And hes up to the task, too.
This fellas gonna crack some heads. In a good way, I mean. Hes got a quiet kind of star power. Hes got the image and the musical goods to court the young acoustic crowd and beyond. Sure, its innocent, its naive. But hes strong, original, and its no wonder this cat is getting over hard. Check him out on our Listen page, we like him. FG