June 16, 2009

they sparkle, bubble over, and in the morning all you got is rain


As I’ve blathered on about before, Josh Ritter is one of the most talented epic songwriters we got goin’ right now. His words and music are nothing short of poetry, demanding a closer listen over and over.

Somehow in the cold winter bustle of December, I missed two renditions he recorded of his songs with a string quartet from Dublin’s Vicar Street Orchestra. Josh has used strings before in his recorded music (listen: “The Temptation Of Adam“) and played live shows with orchestras to immense effect, but these versions take it to a whole new level of sublime.

Girl in the War is laden with conflicted biblical imagery (as with many of his songs), and the deep waters of ache get even more vast here with the taut beauty of the strings. They speak to me in ways that no other instrument can.

These lyrics are all I really want to listen to on this gray day.

Girl In The War – Josh Ritter with String Quartet
(originally from 2006′s Animal Years)

Paul said to Peter you got to rock yourself a little harder
pretend the dove from above is a dragon and your feet are on fire

But I got a girl in the war Paul, the only thing I know to do
is turn up the music and pray that she makes it through

…I got a girl in the war Paul, her eyes are like champagne
they sparkle, bubble over, and in the morning all you got is rain

they sparkle, bubble over
and in the morning all you got is rain

Also download a string version of “Empty Hearts” (originally from 2007′s Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter), and if you are still unacquainted with his genius, many of his incredible songs are available for free download here.

# with Joe Pug (!)
* with Blind Pilot (!)
% with Helio Sequence
@ with Langhorne Slim

July 04 – Cork, Ireland. The Marquee (with full 24-piece orchestra and Lisa Hannigan!)
July 07 – Cleveland, OH. Beachland Ballroom #
July 08 – Des Moines, IA. Vaudeville Mews #
July 09 – Minneapolis, MN. Varsity Theater #
July 10 & 11 – Winnipeg, MB Winnipeg Folk Festival
July 12 – Fargo, ND. The Aquarium
July 14 – Boise, ID. Egyptian Theatre *
July 15 – Boise, ID. Egyptian Theatre
(solo acoustic with string quartet. Tift Merritt supports)
July 16 – Sun Valley, ID. Elkhorn Resort (outdoor show)
July 17 – Kennewick, WA. Red Room %
July 18 – Moscow, ID. Rendezvous in the Park %
July 20 – Helena, MT. Myrna Loy Center @
July 21 – Bozeman, MT. The Emerson Cultural Center @
July 22 – Salt Lake City, UT. Urban Lounge @
July 23 – Denver, CO. Bluebird Theater @
July 24 – Lawrence, KS. The Bottleneck @
July 25 – Omaha, NE. Slowdown @
July 27 – Columbia, MO. Blue Note @
July 28 – St. Louis, MO. Off Broadway Nightclub @
July 29 – Louisville, KY. WFPK Waterfront Park (FREE)
July 30 – Chicago, IL. Metro
July 31 – London, ON. Music Hall
Aug 01 – Montreal, Canada. Osheaga Festival
Aug 02 – Newport, RI. Newport Folk Festival
Aug 15 – North Adams, MA. MASS MoCA Festival

(with Elvis Perkins, Ben Kweller and more)

[photo credit Eric Connolly]


  • ya see that? free show on the waterfront in louisville. eat yer heart out.


    Kyle Meredith — June 16, 2009 @ 8:32 pm

  • can i come?

    browneheather — June 16, 2009 @ 9:14 pm

  • I just saw him live with a full orchestra (the NY Pops) at Central Park summerstage and Glen Hansard came on for a surprise encore! Amazing stuff.

    Lee — June 16, 2009 @ 10:20 pm

  • Brooklyn’s Balthrop, Alabama is opening for Josh in Fargo on July 12. We just saw his Central Park show and we couldn’t be happier!

    Thanks for posting these! I love’em.

    Michael — June 17, 2009 @ 9:24 am

  • Josh is the bomb. I was at one of those vicar st shows. I remember back at the launch of his first album he did an in-store performance in the Dublin branch of Tower. I was blown away…i’ve a signed album from that day where Josh wrote “thanks for waiting Rory”…the guy is a dude…check him out!

    Rory McDonnell — June 17, 2009 @ 3:36 pm

  • i was just browsing Nick Hornby’s blog and noticed that he is an avid follower of fuelfriends. how cool are you?

    denise — June 17, 2009 @ 5:25 pm

  • [...] was this post over at Fuel/Friends that reminded me that more Josh Ritter research was required, and also [...]

    Every heart is a package tangled up in knots someone else tied « It All Started With Carbon Monoxide — June 18, 2009 @ 5:02 am

  • yep. josh is the love of my life. i’d love him even more if he came below the mason-dixon line every once in awhile…

    allison — June 18, 2009 @ 2:16 pm

  • All those bands JR is playing with (Joe Pug, Blind Pilot, as well as the Helio Sequence and Langhorne Slim) bands not to miss. let the good times roll….

    Todd Roeth — June 19, 2009 @ 12:26 pm

  • Somehow the Marquee show slipped under my radar. just picked up tickets for it now. thanks for the heads up Heather! I wouldn’t have been happy if I’d missed it!

    Barry — June 23, 2009 @ 3:01 am

  • love love love Josh Ritter.

    and very honored that my band Cobalt & the Hired Guns is playing at a bunch of the same venues this summer. We’ll be at the Beachland Ballroom two nights after him!

    Matt Hart — July 5, 2009 @ 2:28 pm

  • After a week of fashion shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, there are few trends that stand out, among them: pale tones and sexy Christian Louboutin Shoes.
    These open-toed booties from Nicole Miller’s Spring 2011 collection are a good example of spring’s pale palette.
    After four seasons of subdued shopping by luxury buyers, looks for spring were dominated by white, nude and other neutral colors, which gave the clothes on the runway a softer, lighter look.
    It was a real shift from recent shows, where designers had picked darker colors that seemed to reflect the gloomy mood of the economy.
    This trend even extended to the fingertips with a peachy-nude-putty-colored nail polish worn by models in the Marc Jacob show and a manicure of beige polish, with a thin coral arc applied by celebrity manicurist Jin Soon Choi at Prabal Gurung’s runway show.
    Overall, many of the looks for spring were uncomplicated and versatile, which should help these clothes make the transition from the runway to the stores as retail buyers remain selective in their purchases.
    What was wild? The Christian Louboutin Shoes-both on and off the runway. (You have to see for yourself. Look at our slideshow.)
    It stands to reason. Consumers can only shop their closets for so long. Eventually, they have to start buying again, but they will look for pieces that will work with what they already own (hence the neutrals) and that will make a fresh new statement (cue the shoes.)
    Find big Christian Louboutin sale at http://www.uChristianLouboutin.com

    Christian Louboutin e6d — September 20, 2010 @ 2:20 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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