On 'Animal Years,' Josh Ritter's Sense of Place
Close your eyes while listening to parts of Josh Ritter's new CD, The Animal Years, and you could swear you're hearing a young Bob Dylan, or perhaps Bruce Springsteen. The 29-year-old singer-songwriter calls the comparison "a huge compliment," but he says it's "not a shadow I would choose to live under."
Yet Ritter says he owes much to Springsteen, who has "been a really big inspiration... He's somebody that I look to for guidance and for making a life for yourself besides just a career."
Asked to elaborate, Ritter says, "I think you can never really do something well unless you're able to leave it, and have a family and have a home, and have a place that you're from that you're really dug in."
When he was in college and just starting to write music, Ritter sent a tape he had made to folk legend Pete Seeger.
"He didn't know me from Adam," Ritter says, "but he wrote me back and he said, 'The most important thing you could ever do is to choose a place and dig in.'"
And there is a sense of place in much of Ritter's music. One example, from the new CD, is "Idaho," about his home state.
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