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In the Dark: Live At Vicar Street

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Album Review

Quibbles about the DVD half of this two-disc set aside (some American purchasers have had difficulty getting their players to cooperate), In the Dark: Live at Vicar Street, recorded over two spring nights in 2006, gets to the heart of what makes Josh Ritter more than just another folkie. In a word, it's spirit: from fan favorite "Me & Jiggs" to "Leaving," the audio disc's closer, Ritter rips through these songs as though he's been waiting years to play them. It helps, for sure, that his Irish audience is so receptive — the howls go up especially for the sweetly romantic "Kathleen" — but song for song Ritter's sure-footed way with his tunes and his deep desire to connect with his listeners speak loudest. Live recordings sometimes rob subtleties from the music; here they're reinforced by sheer will. Ritter, on In the Dark, comes off as both a likable guy and a strong, skillful showman.


Born: 1976 in Moscow, Idaho

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

An American singer/songwriter with a strong voice, a keen wit, and an evocative way with words, Josh Ritter has built a loyal following as one of the leading lights on the contemporary folk scene. Born in Idaho, Ritter bought his first guitar after hearing the Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash classic "The Girl from the North Country." While attending college in Oberlin, Ohio, Ritter got his first taste of the music of Leonard Cohen and Gillian Welch; he instantly fell in love with their songs and dropped...
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In the Dark: Live At Vicar Street, Josh Ritter
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