September 8, 2006

New Josh Ritter EP (demos & b-sides)

The Animal Years (2006, V2 Records) from Josh Ritter was a literate and eminently listenable folk-Americana gem full of sweeping lyrical panoramas and good, intelligent songwriting. Lucky for all of us, Ritter just released the Girl in The War EP (iTunes only) — a collection of b-sides and demo versions of songs from the making of that album.

The tracklisting of the EP is:
1) Girl in the War (album version)
2) Blame it On the Tetons (Modest Mouse cover)
3) Harbortown (b-side from the Animal Years sessions)
4) Peter Killed the Dragon (b-side from the Animal Years sessions)
5) Monster Ballads (early version from Animal Years sessions)
6) In the Dark (acoustic demo version)
7) Girl in the War (acoustic demo version)

Quite worth the $6.93, all the songs feel fresh and rambling in that way that Ritter has with a tune. The acoustic version of “In The Dark” is especially lovely, as well as this song:

Harbortown” (b-side) – Josh Ritter

You Irish folks also get a similar goodie bag on the Ireland iTunes-only release of the Good Man EP. Since I can’t buy it here, any of you lads or lasses wanna share?

Oh, and Ritter kicks off a big ole U.S. tour towards the end of this month. I hear his live show is a thing to behold, so check him out if you get a chance.


  • The Animal Years is my favorite album of the year thusfar.

    Callie — September 8, 2006 @ 9:21 am

  • my vote would go to The Damnwells’ Air Stereo so far…

    jeffro — September 8, 2006 @ 3:36 pm

  • Heather,
    I have a ton of Josh Ritter stuff, including the sold out irish only “Good Man” EP you gave a nod to. The US iTunes EP features all of the b-sides including the extra “Girl In The War” demo which is not avail in Ireland. Josh also has had two other CD singles/EP’s released in Ireland with tracks (including a sweet Neil Young cover with Sarah Harmer) not avail anywhere else, as well, a US “4 Songs Live” EP and early “Come And Find Me” EP. The latter two have been featured as bonus discs of his prior two releases before “The Animal Years”. His upcomming tour is opening for Jamie Cullum, which I don’t feel is a good pairing.

    Kevin — September 8, 2006 @ 5:55 pm

  • This is a great blog. My brother Luke, another Colorado Springs resident, turned me on to the blog after he bought the Redbird CD on your recommendation. We are both now big Jeffrey Foucault fans, with, I think, all his albums. You know he’s in Denver in the near future, right? I’m so blown away by Foucault’s songs that, former English major that I am, I decided I had to try writing lyrics. I’m having a ball, and your blog is a piece of the chain of events that got me started.

    I’m a big Dylan fan, and a big Ritter fan. About 2 years ago my wife and I got to see Josh Ritter at a little place in Albuquerque called The Outpost. There were maybe 200 people there. We can walk to the Outpost from our house. It was a magical night. Afterwards, when trying to explain it to people, I would say it must have been similar to seeing Dylan when he was still just a kid really and unknow.

    Thanks for this blog.

    Josh Gentry — September 9, 2006 @ 9:22 am

  • Thanks H as ever. I will give this a listen – this isn’t available on itunes uk (I have looked). Its frustrating because we can’t buy it here.

    I am a big fan of JR – is he gigging near you – the nearest UK gig to me is Preston (40 miles or so). I will try to get there – he is really worth seeing, much better live than on record (and the records are great!).

    Chris Tottington UK

    Anonymous — September 10, 2006 @ 2:30 am

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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