Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center has hosted many performers, with many more to come. On June 3, the audience will get a tasty earful of pleasant music and lyrics from Josh Ritter.
This American singer-songwriter has a natural and rustic sound in his voice. His style is noticeably folky with a mixture of upbeat and slower songs. Ritter’s first album, titled Josh Ritter, was self-released in 1999. With help from Zack Hickman on bass, organ and harp, Tom Graves on the cello and Darius Zelkha on drums, Ritter’s music comes across as beautiful and inspirational with a pleasant harmony. He has 10 other albums and is currently on tour across North America for the release of his new album, So Runs the World Away.
“So Runs the World Away was almost two years in the making and the most difficult album I’ve made so far,” said Ritter on his website. This album along with four others are part of Ritter’s full-length recordings. The other albums or mini albums are compiled of unreleased tracks, demos or live performances. His contain from six to eighteen songs.
Ritter’s album, In The Dark, is his first full-length live album with a complimentary DVD. There are about 20 songs on the album from his live shows. This album also comes with exclusive photos by Dave Hingerty.
Most of Ritter’s songs can be bought directly online, downloaded to iTunes individually, downloaded to iTunes as full CDs or bought in stores.
His career is not limited to the recording studio; his latest project has been writing a book. This novel, Bright’s Passage, is due out on June 28. The book follows a young WWI veteran, Henry Bright. When he comes home from the war he finds out that an angel has come home with him. The book takes Bright back through his journey through West Virginia and back in the trenches of France. This novel is, “suspenseful and kinetic, quiet and eerie, and often humorous,” states, according to his website.
Bright Passage was supposed to be a song at first, Ritter told Spinner, a website with free CD listening weekly, mp3 downloads and music news daily. “It was first intended to be a song on this album [So Runs the World Away], but eventually grew into something much larger,” said Mike Ayers from Spinner. “I actually wrote this story as a song before. I had the major theme, but it turns out when I finished writing it, it was a different thing,” Ritter told Spinner.
Maybe Ritter gets some of his talent from his well-known father, John Ritter, who was admired for his acting in “Three’s Company,” with Suzanne Somers and Joyce DeWitt. John unexpectedly and tragically passed away while on the set for the popular television show, “8 Simple Rules” in 2003.
Check out this multi-talented performer in Westhampton next Friday night.
Josh Ritter will perform at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center on Friday, June 3, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40-$70. For more information go to whbpac.org, or call the box office at 631-288-1500.