News Archive

Josh Ritter to Perform on Campus

Folk-rock musician known for his unique style

10/26/2006 3:04:20 PM


LYNCHBURG — Josh Ritter, known for his unique style of folk rock, will perform at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. in Smith Hall Theatre along with Lynchburg native Zack Hickman, a bass player in his band.

Ritter, who just released his third album, came to music late in his teenage life, subsisting for many years on his folks' meager record collection. It wasn't until the 18 year-old found a copy of Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline at a shop in his hometown of Moscow, Idaho and heard the Dylan/Johnny Cash duet of "Girl From the North Country," that he was inspired to pick up a guitar. As he once told No Depression, "Hearing that record the first time was like meeting that person you know you're going to marry." When he moved east to attend Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, he thought he'd follow his parents into neuroscience, but soon switched to an American Studies curriculum that he more or less devised for himself, with an emphasis on the history of folk music. Once he'd finished college, he migrated to Boston, determined to find a niche as a singer-songwriter.

Ritter's The Animal Years is the kind of breakthrough effort that will cause listeners new to the 29 year-old singer-songwriter's work to wonder where this guy has been all their lives - and prompt his passionate fan base to just say, well, we told you so. Following the independent release of The Golden Age of Radio (2002) and Hello Starling (2003), Ritter was championed by critics in publications ranging from the New York Times to Details Magazine, hailed by fellow artists who shared stages with him, and name-checked by anyone who happened to catch him on tour during the years he doggedly worked the road. The music-savvy citizens of the Republic of Ireland christened him a major star well before anyone in the states even knew he had a record out. On The Animal Years, his V2 Records debut, Ritter more than lives up to the buzz. He embraces the topical while reaching for the timeless, resulting in an album that's firmly rooted in right now but guaranteed to resonate for years to come.

Admission is free, but tickets are required. Tickets for general public will be available at the switchboard in Main Hall beginning Oct. 31.

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CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations