Josh Ritter: All grown-up!

Josh Ritter at Shepherd's Bush Empire

It was foolish of us really.

We went to the Cambridge Folk Festival in 2004, not intending to see Josh, but as these festivals go, you end up seeing a lot of people you don’t know.

Josh came on stage all by himself. He looked about 20. He had curly hair, a beat up guitar, a dark suit, shy on the mic … but played for an hour with the energy and sound of 10 people.

He blew us away.

I immediately bought all his cds and we listen to the often. But somehow we just don’t buy that many cds here and haven’t bought is last two albums. So we were more than a little surprised when we arrived the the Shepherd’s Bush Empire to see a setup for an eight piece band.

We were even more surprised to see him walk on stage. He cut his hair and looked a foot taller (impossible I know) and certainly wasn’t shy anymore. All the new songs and and many of the old ones where redone to fit the expanded band. But it was good — really good. He even added to Harrisburg an section of a Modest Mouse song that I love (Tiny Cities Made of Ashes) but is pretty obscure. He did play a few older tunes and a few with a smaller set of back-up.

Definitely catch him if you can.