Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band
The last time Josh Ritter was in town, the Idaho-born singer-songwriter played the swanky digs at Orchestra Hall, melding wry Americana with the backing of the Minnesota Orchestra. It was a unique and remarkable performance, one that kept even the man himself grinning throughout at the rich layers of sound a constellation of musicians added to his hyperliterate folk-rock. Ritter's sound is textured and unpretentious, but his lyrics sharply articulate a vast range of emotions and insights. If you've heard the heartbreaking "The Curse" from his latest album, So Runs the World Away, you won't be surprised to hear that the bandleader is also prepping to release his first novel, Bright's Passage, from Random House this summer. But just because Ritter works in the capital-A Arts doesn't mean he can't put on a compelling rock show, as evidenced by the rollicking, jaunty tunes on 2007's The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter. Look for a little of both at his First Ave show this week, where he and his Royal City Band will be joined by Scott Hutchison of the Scottish indie-rock outfit Frightened Rabbit. 18+. (Photo by Marcelo Biglia)
Sat., Feb. 19, 6 p.m., 2011
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