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Josh Ritter: Go-For-Broke Songwriting

Josh Ritter.
Josh Ritter.

Already a superstar in Ireland, folk-rock singer-songwriter and Idaho native Josh Ritter is finally getting the recognition in America that he deserves.

Influenced by classic songwriters such as Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, Ritter began writing songs while attending Oberlin College, where he changed his major from Neuroscience to Folk Music. After relocating to Boston, Ritter started getting his name out through a self-released eponymous debut album and near-constant gigging.

Opening slots on tour with both Bob Dylan and The Frames netted Ritter a good deal of attention, and even led to his own sold-out headlining tour of Ireland. His growth as a songwriter and a musician continued unabated, with 2003's Hello Starling and 2006's The Animal Years each displaying a different facet of Ritter's complex musical world. The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter, his new fifth album, serves as a startling change of pace, with ornate and elaborate arrangements that augment the songs' hard-edged, go-for-broke feel.

This program originally aired Oct. 12, 2007.

Copyright 2007 XPN

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David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe® since 1991. World Cafe is produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.