Tiny Desk

Josh Ritter

Josh Ritter: Tiny Desk Concert
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/135235906/135293920" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

"I think Valentine's Day is the most awkward self-imposed holiday — even worse than New Year's — so this is an awkward song," Josh Ritter says by way of introducing his 2003 gem "Kathleen." Everything Ritter says is true, about both the holiday and the song, not to mention the awkwardness of the lag between when Tiny Desk Concerts are recorded and when they see the light of day. Still, the gifted singer-songwriter's performance in our offices was the best Valentine's Day gift we could have gotten, short of the immediate cessation of the holiday itself.

Ritter carries himself with the bearing of a folk-singing mayor: gregarious, charming, down-to-earth and impeccably dressed, with a gift for retaining names and an appreciation for everyone's support. But there's not an ounce of insincerity about him, or else he'd have found a way to sing the apocalyptic ballad "The Temptation of Adam" without letting all those wry smiles slip through. For Ritter, singing is clearly a labor of love: He can't hide his enjoyment of a given performance, even when the brilliantly crafted words he writes convey romantic obsession, alienation or outright existential disaster. Fortunately, the worlds he crafts are no less vividly rendered for his infectious appreciation.

Set List
  • "The Temptation Of Adam"
  • "Lark"
  • "Rattling Locks"
  • "Pale Blue Eyes" (Audio Only)
  • "Kathleen"
Credits

Filmed and edited by Michael Katzif; audio by Kevin Wait; photo by Adele Hampton

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Jun Tsuboike/NPR

Tiny Desk

Ben Folds

Performing solo, Folds performs three songs from his new album and two old favorites.

Tiny Desk Concert with Chelsea Wolfe. Ariel Zambelich/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Ariel Zambelich/NPR

Tiny Desk

Chelsea Wolfe

Wolfe takes three songs from the metallic Abyss and makes them howl by their lonesome.

Tiny Desk Concert with Car Seat Headrest. Jun Tsuboike/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jun Tsuboike/NPR

Tiny Desk

Car Seat Headrest

Will Toledo is a wordsmith with a vision, as well as a DIY sound that's still finely crafted.

Tiny Desk Concert with EL VY. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Tiny Desk

EL VY

The National's Matt Berninger and Menomena's Brent Knopf team up in an intimate setting.

Tiny Desk Concert with The Arcs. Jessica Mowery/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jessica Mowery/NPR

Tiny Desk

The Arcs

It's our 500th show at the Tiny Desk, featuring The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach and his new band.

Tiny Desk Concert with Wolf Alice. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Tiny Desk

Wolf Alice

The band's music can be noisy and primal, but at the Tiny Desk it showed a different side.

Tiny Desk Concert with River Whyless. Jun Tsuboike/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jun Tsuboike/NPR

Tiny Desk

River Whyless

The North Carolina band fills its rootsy music with unexpected instruments and clever ideas.

Tiny Desk Concert with Benny Sings. Morgan Walker/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Morgan Walker/NPR

Tiny Desk

Benny Sings

The Dutch singer layers R&B, jazz and pop over hip-hop beats in his first-ever U.S. appearance.

Tiny Desk Concert with Natalie Merchant Jun Tsuboike /NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jun Tsuboike /NPR

Tiny Desk

Natalie Merchant

The singer-songwriter gives a warmhearted performance of two new songs, an old favorite and a hymn.

Tiny Desk Concert with Mariachi Flor De Toloache Jun Tsuboike/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jun Tsuboike/NPR

Tiny Desk

Mariachi Flor De Toloache

While on tour with The Arcs, the powerhouse mariachi band performs live in the NPR Music offices.

Back To Top