Monday, February 8, 2016

Music: Josh Ritter - Sermon On The Rocks

I have some new music queued up and I'm afraid it's on infinite repeat.

I liked Josh Ritter back when Animal Years and Hello Starling came out, and got to see him with Hillary Hahn around that time... then kindof moved on, and he moved into a sort-of darker folk place...

But this latest record is something completely different -- like Cash and Dillon and U2 (Joshua Tree) and Paul Simon (and a little Billy Joel and Tom Petty -- I swear I hear it, I don't know what to tell you) all in one fantastically wordy and rocking CD.

Ritter describes the album as a messianic oracular honky tonk. With the sound of a rocking revival, and pulling from the biblical words and stories that live in our cultural heritage.

It's hard to pin it down as a message, though -- he grew up in church but left religion as an adult, and has been living in Brooklyn, so I keep expecting to find some hint of irony or wink at the sound and themes he's used...

But while the message definitely isn't reverant, he seems to use them sincerely..

And far from trying to rescue the honkey tonk from the heartland to be hipsterized in Williamsburg, it's more like a hand-painted barn sign: 'remember from whence you came' or more specifically: 'go home for a visit, lose the irony, put on some workboots, and when the neighbors ask if they'll see you at church, tell them you'll be out all night raising hell but you'll see them for Sunday dinner'.

I can't figure out if it's especially appropriate or inappropriate to post it two days before Ash Wednesday -- either way, good grief, would someone please write actual God-music that sounds like this.

Sermon on the Rocks

Interviews with:
The Bluegrass Situation
Rolling Stone
His Blog

Where The Night Goes

Young Moses


Gettin Ready to Get Down
Live at the Fillmore

Live at the Fillmore

It's definitely a well-list item to see Ritter this year. (He's playing Asheville and Charlotte in May, yal.)

More Music Mondays

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