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

Gabriel Garzon-Montano performs a Tiny Desk Concert on May 3, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Tiny Desk

Gabriel Garzón-Montano

Gabriel Garzón-Montano spent three years writing and recording his beautiful, dense album Jardin -- but for his Tiny Desk visit, he stripped it all down to two elements, the piano and his voice.

Julia Jacklin performs a Tiny Desk Concert on May 1, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Tiny Desk

Julia Jacklin

A restrained, whisper-soft Tiny Desk concert from Australian singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin with songs taken from her debut album Don't Let The Kids Win.

Troker performs at Tiny Desk Concert on April 5, 2017 (Marian Carrasquero/NPR) Marian Carrasquero /NPR hide caption

toggle caption Marian Carrasquero /NPR

Tiny Desk

Troker

Mexico may not be known for its jazz, but the young lions of Troker are a promising hope to make the country and its capital city a destination.

Tim Darcy performs at Tiny Desk Concert on April 21, 2017 (Marian Carrasquero/NPR) Marian Carrasquero/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Marian Carrasquero/NPR

Tiny Desk

Tim Darcy

Tim Darcy of Montreal band Ought brings his mysterious solo work, from the album Saturday Night, to the Tiny Desk. The record he says, was his chance to "get back to my roots, in my own voice."

Danilo Brito performs a Tiny Desk concert on April 10, 2017. (Ariel Zambelich/NPR) Ariel Zambelich/NPE hide caption

toggle caption Ariel Zambelich/NPE

Tiny Desk

Danilo Brito

Danilo Brito and his band brought their dextrous expression of choro music to the Tiny Desk, a long-established musical style that has its roots in the streets and backyards of Brito's native Brazil.

Aimee Mann performs at Tiny Desk Concert on Apr. 20, 2017 (Marian Carrasquero/NPR) Marian Carrasquero /NPR hide caption

toggle caption Marian Carrasquero /NPR

Tiny Desk

Aimee Mann

"This song is called 'You Never Loved Me' — it's another cheery, optimistic number," says Aimee Mann, introducing the second of four songs in this Tiny Desk Concert.

Peter Silberman performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Apr. 7, 2017. (Emily Bogle/NPR) Emily Bogle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Emily Bogle/NPR

Tiny Desk

Peter Silberman

A strange condition hushed the life of Peter Silberman, resulting in what may be the quietest Tiny Desk Concert ever.

Antonio Lizana performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Jan. 25, 2017. (Marian Carrasquero/NPR) Marian Carrasquero/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Marian Carrasquero/NPR

Tiny Desk

Antonio Lizana

The traditions of flamenco and jazz are disparate, but in the hands of a few Spanish jazz musicians, these two worlds commingle and find common ground.

Chicano Batman performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Mar., 30, 2017. (Marian Carrasquero/NPR) Marian Carrasquero/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Marian Carrasquero/NPR

Tiny Desk

Chicano Batman

Chicano Batman comes with a sound that perfectly captures dark lounges, quinceñera dances, car shows and backyard parties.

Back To Top