Josh Ritter (solo, Works in Progress show)
Fri · August 18, 2017
Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pmThe State Room
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"I've been writing a lot of songs lately -- they come in waves, and I seem to be riding one right now. I'm playing some special solo shows this summer to try them out. These shows will be mostly new songs, and a lot of me figuring stuff out along the way. It'll be fun and weird and cool. So, if you wanna see some works in progress, come on down. Help me figure out just how sturdy these songs are.
Rock and Roll,
* * * *
“…he sets out to carry a world of ideas on a few basic chords….there is no limit to the depth and ambition of his songs.” – The New York Times
“How refreshing and inspiring it is to encounter a young artist whose achievements match his ambitions.” — Washington Post
"If you love music and have a device on which to play it, you should listen to Josh Ritter…" —Mary-Louise Parker in Esquire
Sermon On The Rocks is receiving widespread critical praise:
“…it’s an approach that brings out some of Ritter’s slipperiest, nimblest wordplay…and a few genuine head-turners. Not many singers could pull off a whopper like, ‘If you wanna see a miracle, watch me get down,’ but when Ritter gets there near the end of ‘Getting Ready To Get Down,’ it lands like a grand punchline.” —NPR Music
“Favorite Songs Of 2015”—NPR Music
“50 Best Songs of 2015” —Paste
“80 Best Albums of 2015” —Popmatters
“‘Homecoming’ moves from a solo piano setting a butterscotch tone, to the voice of a young man backed by a band chugging in the background; to an acoustic middle eight and back to the glorious rhythm…It’s seamless, sweet, and real” —The Huffington Post
“The literary-minded songwriter Josh Ritter…recharges his music on his eighth studio album, Sermon on the Rocks…Harking back to Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and maybe a little Mark Knopfler, Mr. Ritter has always been a slinger of serious ideas and high-flown imagery” —The New York Times
“The new album’s music is airy, propulsive and more often than not, catchy.” —The Wall Street Journal
Produced by Ritter and Trina Shoemaker (Queens of the Stone Age, Emmylou Harris), Sermon on the Rocks was recorded over two weeks at New Orleans’ The Parlor Recording Studio and features Matt Barrick from The Walkmen on drums, Zachariah Hickman on bass, Josh Kaufman on guitar and Sam Kassirer on piano.
Of his inspiration behind Sermon on the Rocks, Ritter comments, “I wanted to play messianic oracular honky-tonk.”
Over the course of his acclaimed career, Ritter has released seven full-length albums, including his most recent, 2013’s The Beast In Its Tracks, which debuted at #22 on the Billboard 200 and #8 on the Top Rock Albums chart. The record also received widespread critical praise—NPR Music called it, “…gorgeous and glorious,” while Pitchfork asserted, “Beast is contemplative and forgiving, a means of burying one relationship to commit to another, and Ritter nicely evokes the excitement and resignation of such a transition.” Additionally, in 2011, Ritter made is debut as a published author with his New York Times best-selling novel, Bright’s Passage (Dial Press/Random House). Of the work, Stephen King writes in The New York Times Book Review, “Shines with a compressed lyricism that recalls Ray Bradbury in his prime…This is the work of a gifted novelist.”
The State Room
638 South State Street
Salt Lake City, UT, 84111