Friday, 7 May 2010

Under Scarab and Bone

There are few things in this world more wonderful than Josh Ritter. Okay fine. Babies, rainbows, that feeling you get when you wake up and you think it's a weekday but it turns out it's not; these things are nice too. Turns out, though, the invariably gorgeous tunes of Josh Ritter are a lot easier to come by than all of the above.

Despite discovering the Idaho native around the same time I myself first learned how to strum a C, until last weekend I'd never actually seen him live. Dear Internet, let us remark upon how foolish I once was. As I type this to the unerringly consistent thumping bass of my upstairs housemate's pre-lash soundtrack, I shudder at the thought of the sad existence I led before around 8:32 pm last Saturday night. On a small stage beneath a curved and gilted green ceiling on a warm night in Cork, Josh Ritter bounded into the floodlights, and I nearly spilled my Guinness.

(I know, I know, who drinks Guinness at a concert, albeit a tame little folk one? Blame the Irish chap I was staying with who cheerfully planted the glass of liquid dinner in my hands. Turns out though, stout goes well with folk.)

I'd already started the evening in a pleasant mood when, standing at the bar, I heard an amplified guitarist introduce himself as Joe Pug. I had no idea the man would be opening for Josh Ritter. If you haven't heard Hymn #101 yet, amend that, and if you have, go have a look at the lyrics.

To cut a enthusiastically long story short, the entire night was fantastic, and just when the Irish friend and I couldn't ask for anymore, Josh rewarded our hesitant tour bus loitering with bear hugs and the most sincere thank-yous I've ever heard a human being utter. My night was made and my smile set when, after asking him if he remembered a certain comment I'd made on his blog weeks before he smiled, and proffered with a genuine satisfaction that pleased us both:

"Luke, right?"

After Josh and the band left, we spent the rest of the evening in a nearby bar, before escorting home a group of French holidaying au pairs. It made the walk back to my Irish friend's house a thirty minute one, but I'd been walking on air for so long by then I didn't even notice.

Go Listen To Josh Ritter Recording Live On Daytrotter


1 comment:

  1. Papa Burns19.5.10

    Humph! I was going to be the first to add a comment on this fine new blog but was caught by the comment system failure. Since I taught you how to strum that first C chord you mentioned, it would have been only right and proper...

    The problem with folk music is where does it start and where does it stop. You're going to have to nail your colours to the mast on this one at some point, Luke.

    At one extreme, there are those who follow the Ewan McColl 'traditional' school which says that a song is only worth singing if it was written at least 100 years ago - in England; there are others who start with Nick Drake and work forwards...

    So where do we stand and can we talk about Bert Jansch and John Renbourn, please!?