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JOSH RITTER —GATHERING (Pytheas / Thirty Tigers / Red)

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www.Joshritter.com

American singer-songwriter Josh Ritter has for some failed to become as big as anticipated this side of the pond. Others might ague differently, but I am more inclined to support the former since though this is his 9th full-length album he has yet to gain full recognition here. Will Gathering place a fairer perspective on the situation I hope so, as for the album it opens with a brief piece of shaker-like vocals. Followed by the stunning free ‘n easy flowing “Showboat” Ritter is quickly into his stride, and with a stout epic duet collaboration with Grateful Dead veteran, Bob Weir “When Will I Be Changed” and the boom-chicka-boom propelled “Feels Like Lightening” filling slots on the first-half of the recording Ritter has points on the board before you know it. 

Backed by his The River City Band of Zachariah Hickman, Sam Kassirer, Ray Rizzo and Josh Kaufman Ritter has stellar support, and with a multitude set of arrangements he delves into Kerouac-esque territory of the folk jazz induced and at times, dramatic “Dreams”. It comes complete with keyboards, percussion, harmony vocals and even a little radio styled static the imagination of one is superbly fuelled. 

While the productions are sumptuous, the listener is never in fear of been overwhelmed in a surfeit of riches. Or the focus diverted from Ritter’s lead vocal and lyrical content. If “Friendamine” was propelled any faster it might explode as he is powered on by a frenetic rhythm, slide guitar etc as everyone has a blast! 

Going back to “Feels Like Lightening” the accomplished fashion that he leads the line is outstanding, and with wurlitzer, synthesiser and percussion warming the tempo the music smiles. Of a more studious note “Train Go By” and “Dreams” edge along in a beautiful poised fashion and with stripped down production he first delivers warmth and, on the latter a mystical and edgy song set to spark a bunch of emotions and imagery to go with it. Piano rolls, rare splashes of urgent callings and percussion accompany the tune masked in mystery has Ritter go Kerouac! “Myra Loy” is a reflective ode, and though in its way pretty it isn’t among his finest. Not by a long shot. 

Edging into the final quartet of tunes, he races into a country music setting for “Cry Softly”, as he performs a piece that offers a wonderful joyful feel. Superb keyboards, piano and lead guitar lead the romp, and with a likewise uplifting feel (and steel guitar) you have “Oh Lord (Part3)”. “Thunderbolt’s Goodnight” has a warm tender feel, and with female harmonies and keyboards is glides past in a pleasing fashion. “Strangers” wraps up Gathering in an unassuming fashion as the song weaves its gentle, reflective lyrics in a simple but at the same time intriguing fashion. Interesting, though never a title-track or stop you in your tracks affair.   

  Maurice Hope

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This site is the sister site to The House Concert Hub community and has been inherited in the main by kind donation of Shaun Belcher and Trailer Star.

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www.euroamericanachart.eu

1
Rod Picott
70 pts.
Out Past The Wires
Welding Rod Music
GC,AN,LM,SZ,TK
2
JW Roy & The Royal Family
62 pts.
A Room Full Of Strangers
Royal Family Records
EM,PJ,DH
3
Steph Cameron
61 pts.
Daybreak over Jackson Street
Pheromona
ML
4
JD McPherson
54 pts.
Undivided Heart & Soul
New West
AR,RK,LK
5
Sarah Morris
53 pts.
Hearts In Need Of Repair
Independent
 
6
Turnpike Troubadours
52 pts.
Long Away From Your Heart
Bossier City Records
MA,GF
7
Chris Hillman
51 pts.
Bidin' My Time
Rounder
 
8
Hayward Williams
39 pts.
Pretenders
Why River Records
KG,JB,JBO
9
Joe Henry
38 pts.
Thrum
Ear Music
 
10
Jim White
37 pts.
Waffles, Triangles & Jesus
Loose Music
JJ
12
Margo Price
35 pts.
All American Made
Third Man Records
 
11
Mark Martyre
35 pts.
Rivers
Independent
MF
13
Mavis Staples
32 pts.
If All I Was Was Black
Anti
HO
 
Peter Oren
32 pts.
Anthropocene
Western Vinyl
RB,HB
15
Fred Wickham
29 pts.
Mariosa Delta
Thirty Days Records
 
16
Jeffrey Martin
27 pts.
One Go Around
Fluff & Gravy Records
HDB
17
Blitzen Trapper
25 pts.
Wild and Reckless
Lojinx
JDO
 
Jeff Crosby
25 pts.
Postcards From Magdalena
At The Helm Records
FCE,FC,JS
19
Dori Freeman
24 pts.
Letters Never Read
Blue Hens Music
 
 
Hardpan
24 pts.
Hardpan
Blue Rose Records
WR
21
The Deep Dark Woods
21 pts.
Yarrow
Six Shooter
JF
22
Lilly Hiatt
20 pts.
Trinity Lane
New West
TJ
 
Tom Russell
20 pts.
Folk Hotel
Frontera Records-Proper Records
JAB
24
Eilen Jewell
19 pts.
Down Hearted Blues
Signature Sounds
MW
25
Dick LeMasters
18 pts.
Incompatible Things
Longneck Road Music
FS

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