I just searched my own blog and I can't believe that I have never written about one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Josh Ritter. Originally from Moscow, Idaho, Ritter started writing songs as a teenager. He went to Oberlin College in Ohio, originally to study neuroscience, but changed to a self-made major called "American History Through Narrative Folk Music." He self recorded his first self-titled album at age 21, then promoted himself at various open mic nights in the Eastern United States and in the UK and Ireland. Glen Hansard of The Frames heard him and encouraged him to continue recording, and invited him to open for The Frames in Ireland.
I first discovered Ritter in 2006 when I heard his fourth album The Animals Years, an album that blew me away. I've seen him live twice: once solo with his acoustic guitar and a glass of whiskey, and once with his full band. Both completely different shows, both completely excellent.
You can download some MP3s and stream his albums on his website. Also on his website are some links to live shows recorded by NPR. I highly recommend that you listen to them.
Ritter is currently touring in the UK, and is touring Ireland in October. No word yet on a new album, but he is a pretty prolific writer so I will assume that something is in the works!
Buy (MP3): Golden Age Of Radio (2004)
Buy (MP3): The Animal Years (2006)
The Temptation of Adam.mp3
Buy: The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter (2007)