CONCERT: Josh Ritter at the Music Box, June 23rd


Sorry about the lack of content lately… it’s just been way too summery around here to get any blogging done. You understand.

A few weeks ago now we had the great fortune to catch Josh Ritter in Hollywood at The Music Box – and he was, of course, fantastic. Opening was the Carolina Chocolate Drops, who are a sort of American Jug music-preservation group, playing things like fiddles, banjos, kazoos, whiskey jugs and the old bones. They were pretty dang fun, playing primarily ditties from the 20’s and 30’s with the exception of their closing number – a cover of Blu Cantrell’s “Hit ‘Em Up Style”, complete with beat-box and barn-burning vocals. Here’s the track and a video. Enjoy.

mp3: Carolina Chocolate Drops – Hit ‘Em Up Style
from the album Genuine Negro Jig (buy it here)

Video: Carolina Chocolate Drops – Hit ‘Em Up Style at WDVX’s Blue Plate Special

After that, Josh Ritter put on one of the absolute best rock and roll shows I have ever seen, no exaggeration. He’s always put on an energetic and heartfelt show, but somehow he’s gotten even more energetic and heartfelt, if that’s even possible. His songs continue to get better and better, and his band is getting tighter and tighter, and I just can’t imagine them doing anything better than they did that night – I’ve said it before and it’s still true: it’s obvious that Josh loves his band and his band loves him, and that translates to a great live presence.

Three highlights I’ll share: One, when the band picked up on “Kathleen” after Josh had started it out solo – they roared in after the interlude and positively sent chills down my spine. Two, during Josh’s solo set he had the house turn off all the lights and played “In The Dark” in pitch black, with the audience singing along on the “doo doo doo’s” – more chills down the spine. And three, at the end of the encore as Josh and his band sang “Wait for Love” in harmony with arms around each other, smiling and swaying back and forth, the whole crowd singing along. Of course, more chills. This is why I love music.

Pictures and setlist after the jump (below).

mp3: Josh Ritter – Lantern
from the album So Runs The World Away (buy it here)

Josh’s setlist:


Change of Time

Southern Pacifica

Mind’s Eye

Rattling Locks

Folk Bloodbath

Good Man

Lillian, Egypt

The Curse


Long Shadows

Josh solo:

Roll On

Mexican Home (John Prine cover)

In The Dark


Full band:

Right Moves

Girl In The War

Another New World



To The Dogs or Whoever


Moon River


Wait For Love

Some pictures:

CCD 1Carolina Chocolate Drops

CCD 2Carolina Chocolate Drops (whiskey jugging)

Josh 1Josh Ritter and the Great Seal Of The State Of Idaho

Josh 2Josh Ritter, rocking

Josh 3Josh Ritter and band

Josh 4“Wait for Love”

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  1. Joe’s avatar

    Probably the best set list I have ever seen. Dang, that is the show all of shows!

  2. D Locksmith’s avatar

    The narrative lyrics of Josh Ritter are really amazing. I totally loved The Animal Years. What a beautiful scenario watching all the people singing his songs alone!


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