Josh Ritter: “I’m having more fun than I’ve ever had in my life”

By Mad Dog
Published: Sep 05, 2022

What happens when a creative person gets happy? The work suffers. Josh Ritter now has the love of a good woman, a child and a backyard that he measures in acres, and yet he sang 17 new, unrecorded songs in a row at City Winery that were simply impeccable. He’s still Josh Ritter — there were goofy stories (“I learned a lot about spray paint the first time I used it”) and wry lyrics (“If you’ve got to cry, cry softly”) — but the music was different in a way that’s hard to describe. These weren’t just new songs but a new kind of songs, like he’d found 17 pages from the Great American Songbook written in invisible ink and decoded them. (Of course he and Zack Hickman ended the show with rousing classics, and in the Church of Ritter, we screamed and screamed.) There are two more shows in this mini-tour, in Denver and Los Angeles. Strong suggestion: Do not tarry.