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Golden Age of Radio (Deluxe Edition)

Josh Ritter

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Album Review

This Idaho-born singer/songwriter made a modest splash when his debut album was released in 2000, and after three years of watching his profile gradually rise on the national and international scene (he has an enthusiastic cult following in Ireland, including a cover band devoted to his songs, and Joan Baez has covered "Wings"), the Signature Sounds label reissued Golden Age of Radio, Ritter's sophomore effort, with a bonus disc that includes drastic remixes of two album tracks, one previously unreleased song, and two videos. Ritter's voice is charmingly unremarkable — not ironic or casual or self-effacing, just pleasantly plain with an occasional hint of Dylan-style Okie affectation. You'll also hear hints of Freedy Johnston and fainter hints of Tom Waits in songs like "Roll On" and "Drive Away." Producer Darius Zelkha wisely avoided gussying these songs up, keeping Ritter's acoustic guitar and unadorned voice central to most of the arrangements and embroidering them tastefully with the occasional drum kit or electric guitar. [Not surprisingly, the remixes on the bonus CD take a very different tack, turning "Come and Find Me" into something much richer and more atmospheric and "Other Side" into a kind of twisted Americana trip-hop. "Chelsea Hotel #2" is a delicately lovely voice-and-guitar number.) If you own the original release, this reissue may not have enough new material to justify a new purchase, but it's definitely worth picking up as an introduction to this impressive young artist.]

Biography

Born: 1976 in Moscow, Idaho

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

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

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, Ohio, Ritter got his first listen to Leonard Cohen and Gillian Welch. He instantly fell in love with their songs and dropped his neuroscience major in...
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Golden Age of Radio (Deluxe Edition), Josh Ritter
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