Live in Concert

NPR Music Presents: Josh Ritter In Concert

Josh Ritter In Concert (Audio Only)

  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

To stand out as an acoustic-guitar-wielding folk-rock singer-songwriter, you'd better have an awful lot of charisma at your disposal — and it helps if, like Josh Ritter, you're able to infuse your songs with a sense that stakes are high and words ring true. A prolific singer-songwriter who's appropriately delved into a side career as a novelist, Ritter crafts his words carefully, but never loses sight of what makes them relate to the experiences of those who hear him. He can write a fantastical 10-minute narrative about war, as he does in his 2006 song "Thin Blue Flame," but his verses lead him through a journey that's wholly universal: fear, doubt, faith, fury, nostalgia, love, beauty.

Ritter's new album, The Beast in Its Tracks, is by any definition a breakup record; he wrote it following his own divorce, and every song finds him picking through a relationship's wreckage in pursuit of root causes and, ultimately, a way forward. For this performance, Ritter and The Royal City Band performed The Beast in Its Tracks in its entirety live at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City, originally webcast live on NPR Music on Mar. 4, 2013, with hosts Rita Houston (WFUV) and Bob Boilen (All Songs Considered).

Set List

  • "Evil Eye"
  • "A Certain Light"
  • "Wolves"
  • "New Lover"
  • "The Right Time"
  • "The Temptation Of Adam"
  • "The Appleblossom Rag"
  • "Folk Bloodbath"
  • "Hopeful"
  • "Harrisburg"
  • "Nightmares"
  • "In Your Arms Again"
  • "Joy To You Baby"
  • "To The Dogs Or Whoever"
  • "Lights" (Encore)

Producers: Saidah Blount, Mito Habe-Evans, Amy Schriefer; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Christopher Farber, Gabriella Garcia-Pardo, A.J. Wilhelm; Hosted by: Bob Boilen, Rita Houston; Special Thanks to: Le Poisson Rouge; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann, Keith Jenkins.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Rock

JD McPherson Alicia J. Rose/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Alicia J. Rose/Courtesy of the artist

Favorite Sessions

opbmusic Presents: JD McPherson

Watch the rockabilly guitarist perform "You Must Have Met Little Caroline?" at Pickathon 2015.

Tiny Desk Concert with Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats Julia Reihs/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Julia Reihs/NPR

Tiny Desk

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

At the Tiny Desk, Rateliff's body-shaking Southern-style soul takes on a more laid-back sound.

A still from Pill's "Hot Glue" video. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

All Songs TV

First Watch: PILL, 'Hot Glue'

The NYC post-punks get NSFW with pointy press-on nails, phallic produce and pills.

Tiny Desk Concert with Diane Coffee. Jun Tsuboike/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jun Tsuboike/NPR

Tiny Desk

Diane Coffee

Conjuring David Bowie, Diane Coffee's Shaun Fleming swaggered and shimmied behind the Tiny Desk.

Back To Top

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor