Review of his gig in Whelan's, Dublin, April 16 2001
Josh Ritter is an Idaho born singer-songwriter. He first came to Ireland last year with The Frames, who brought him over to tour with them after they saw him play in the States. Glen Hansard has mentioned Josh in a number of interviews and it was this which prompted me to go along to tonight's Whelan's show, Josh's first headline gig in Ireland.
First impressions of Josh are very favourable - he has a great stage presence, a sense of humour and an ear to ear grin. His set consists of folky songs, some are very funny and tongue in cheek, others more sentimental and clever. Josh has an excellent voice and a very strong guitar style. The best song of what was an excellent gig was 'Bone of Song', which Josh wrote the first time he was in Ireland. It is a very strong song with clever lyrics - 'Lucky are you who finds me in the wilderness / I am the only unquiet ghost that does not seek rest'. Other highlights of the gig include 'Laurence Kansas' and 'Wings', which had rings ofLeonard Cohen about it.
Between songs Josh entertains us with funny stories and it would be fair to say that Josh wins over tonight's Whelans audience with ease. Josh is as delighted with the audience as they are with him - he seems shocked that they actually stay quiet during his songs. Josh is also very much in awe ofThe Frames' music and Glen Hansard joins Josh for a couple of songs, including 'Don't Drive Away'.
Overall an excellent gig and one which definitely warrants a listen to Josh's debut album.