released May 4th, 2010

from the album - Change Of Time

from all music

While his name might not be on the tip of everyone's tongue in his homeland, folk-leaning singer/songwriter Josh Ritter has benefited from numerous positive reviews and a loyal fan base. Born in Idaho, Ritter bought his first guitar after hearing the Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash classic "Girl From the North Country." While attending college in Oberlin, OH, Ritter got his first listen to Leonard Cohen and Gillian Welch. He fell in love with the songs instantly and dropped his neuroscience major in favor of the pursuit of music. With classic folk venues like Club Passim, Boston was the place Ritter chose to follow his dream. He recorded and released self-titled debut in 1999, but it was 2002's Golden Age of Radio that got him noticed. Selling copies on his own funded touring, which funded more albums and so on. Signature Sounds Recordings soon picked the album up, gave it exposure on a national level, and the four- and five-star reviews started rolling in. The HBO series Six Feet Under grabbed a track from the album for their end credits, while Ritter received an offer to open for the Frames on a tour of Ireland. Soon his single "Me & Jiggs" was in the Irish Top 40, a headlining tour of the country was sold out, and a tribute band named Cork was playing nothing but Ritter material in numerous Irish pubs. Back home the following was growing with sold-out shows in New York City and Boston, while an invitation to the Sundance Film Festival began 2003 on a high note. It took 14 February days in rural France to record his third album, and much of the equipment used for the session was Curtis Mayfield's old gear. The result, Hello Starling, was released in September the same year. Animal Years, his much anticipated follow-up, arrived in March 2006, with Historical Conquest and the live CD/DVD In the Dark: Live at Vicar Street arriving in 2007.

album review

So Runs the World Away, the fifth studio album from bookish, Idaho-born troubadour Josh Ritter, unfolds like a Flannery O’Connor, Jim Jarmusch, and Mark Twain road trip. Equally steeped in Southern and Midwest Gothic Americana, the son of a pair of neuroscientists has crafted his most unique collection of songs to date, borrowing characters from mythology, literature, and world history and letting them run wild in the increasingly adventurous, neo-traditional folk style that his become his forte over the last decade. The elegiac, slow-burn opener “Change of Time” sets the stage, lamenting “battered hulls and broken hardships/leviathan and lonely” before visiting a 1000-year-old Egyptian pharaoh on the deck of a steamship on his way to New York in “Curses.” The voyage continues by train on “Southern Pacifica,” descends into bluesy, Tom Waits-ian solipsism on “Rattling Locks,” and culminates in So Runs the World Away’s brilliant mid-album centerpiece, "Folk Bloodbath," which pits some of the murder ballad’s biggest names (Louis Collins, Delia, and Stagger Lee) against each other with predictable results. Standout cuts in the second half include the verdant, bouncy “Lark,” the stoic, John Jacob Niles-inspired “See How Man Was Made,” and the spirited, quasi-spiritual/science rocker “Orbital,” resulting in a typically fine batch of new folk standards and a high-water mark for an artist already used to paddling around on oceans too deep and vast for modern cartography.

Track Listing

1 Curtains Ritter :56
2 Change of Time Ritter 4:07
3 The Curse Ritter 5:00
4 Southern Pacifica Ritter 4:22
5 Rattling Locks Ritter 4:28
6 Folk Bloodbath Hurt, Ritter, Traditional 5:19
7 Lark Ritter 3:05
8 Lantern Ritter 5:18
9 The Remnant Ritter 4:02
10 See How Man Was Made Ritter 3:27
11 Another New World Ritter 7:39
12 Orbital Ritter 3:32
13 Long Shadows Ritter 2:24