March 1, 2009

Favorites: Josh Ritter

There's always a "next Bob Dylan." Someone with insightful lyrics, songwriting chops, and a distinctive voice that bears a resemblance to the poetry-spewing God. But there won't ever be a second coming, just like there won't ever be another Michael Jordan. Instead, we have a collective of young songwriters—like M. Ward, Conor Oberst, and Jim James—that together, come close to filling the void that Dylan's left behind.  

Add Josh Ritter to that mix. I first heard the Idahoan songwriter in the ski film Sinners by Warren Miller photographer Bill Heath. The song "Snow Is Gone" was a burst of sunshine set across Heath's stark and snow-filled landscape. Ritter, who studied American history through narrative folk music at Oberlin College, pairs a genuine and natural feel for the craft with a tremendous knowledge and care for it. His music merits comparisons to Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, and Bruce Springsteen, but none of the names stick. After listening to an album like The Animal Years, Ritter's the only name worth mentioning. And it's one worth remembering. 

Taste a little sunshine:
Josh Ritter - "Snow Is Gone" (mp3)

No comments:

Post a Comment