By: Shelby Lum (Photo Cred: Laura Wilson)
What makes Josh Ritter, Josh Ritter, is his whirlwind of experiences. Coming off his latest album release in March, The Beast In Its Tracks, the singer made a very painful experience public knowledge in his lyrics and in his songs: his breakup and divorce.
“The reception has been far bigger and gratifying than I expected,” Ritter said. With such a serious topic, and with such a difficult experience, he said he was surprised with how well received that album was.
The album might have been different, but the creation of albums isn’t unfamiliar territory for Ritter. Since 1999, he has released seven studio albums, eight EPs, and four live albums, so when it came to his newest release, the artist did what he always does best, and created an album not only about himself, but something that his fans could hear and relate to as well.
“I wanted to describe those feelings so they weren’t about me but about heart break,” Ritter said. He said he wanted to create an album based on all those moments of a breakup that others have experienced as well.
“I love writing songs. I love it,” he said. “I don’t notice that the records are flying by.”
After that all those records, Ritter has gained a significant foothold in the singer songwriter community and earned himself a nod from Paste magazine for “100 Greatest Living Songwriters” in 2006.
“There is so much more to music than the notes. There is the culture and the history,” he said. “I was really interested in what my place in the traditon of songwriters was.”
Ritter likes to keep his sets flexible as well, and has performed form intimate venues to massive festivals, yet to him both are the same. “On a good night, on a good show, it should feel the same,” Ritter said. “I feel like you should have a nice connection with the audience.”
He keeps that connection fresh by mixing up his set and finding songs that fit the mood of his listeners.
Josh Ritter is scheduled to play at Variety Playhouse on Tuesday, May 14th.