With his deep, expressive voice, keen wit, and deft poetic sense, Josh Ritter has built a solid reputation as a reliable and insightful singer/songwriter in folk and Americana music. Coming into the scene in 1999 with his debut self-titled album, Ritter hit his stride in 2007 with The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter, incorporating elements of rock, country, and blues. This marked a shift that propelled his legacy as a versatile artist. Subsequent successful releases like Beast in Its Tracks (2013), Gathering (2017), and Fever Breaks (2019) continued to expand his musical boundaries. Following a 2020 rarities EP, he returned in 2023 with Spectral Lines, his 11th album.
Hailing from Idaho, Ritter's journey with music began when he bought his first guitar after being captivated by Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash's classic "The Girl from the North Country." During his college years in Oberlin, Ohio, he discovered the music of Leonard Cohen and Gillian Welch, sparking a love for their songs and leading him to shift his focus from neuroscience to music. Choosing Boston as the place to pursue his dreams due to its rich folk scene, he recorded and released his self-titled debut in 1999. However, it was 2002's The Golden Age of Radio that gained notable attention from both critics and folk enthusiasts, setting the stage for a remarkable career.
In February 2003, Ritter spent 14 days recording Hello Starling in rural France at Black Box Studios. The album was released later that year, further enhancing his reputation. The success of The Golden Age of Radio and Hello Starling caught the eye of major labels, leading to a deal with V2. Despite a brief tenure there, Ritter's career flourished, with subsequent albums and tours solidifying his place in the music industry. The years that followed brought an impressive discography and creative endeavors, showcasing Ritter's talents and dedication to his craft. In April 2023, he released Spectral Lines, a poignant album dedicated to his late mother, adding another chapter to his artistic journey.