Making Josh Ritter a Household Name Everywhere Josh Ritter's poetic and intellectually complex lyrics have helped make the singer-songwriter practically a household name in Ireland. But he's not yet well-known in America -– "yet" being the key word. Hear an interview and in-studio performance from NPR's Studio 4A.

Making Josh Ritter a Household Name Everywhere

Making Josh Ritter a Household Name Everywhere

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/15230712/15264303" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter is his fifth studio album. hide caption

toggle caption

Josh Ritter in Studio 4A

'To the Dogs or Whoever'

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/15230712/15230927" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

'The Temptation of Adam'

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/15230712/15230929" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

'Empty Hearts'

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/15230712/15230931" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

'Edge of the World'

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/15230712/15230933" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Josh Ritter's poetic and intellectually complex lyrics have helped make the singer-songwriter practically a household name in Ireland. But he's not yet well-known in America -– "yet" being the key word.

The liner notes of his latest release, The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter, are as evocative as his lyrics. He thanks the New York City Marathon, author Steven King, the many hotels of North America and, of course, his fans, whom, he says, make it seem so easy.

Of course, it hasn't been. Ritter was a high school kid from Moscow, Idaho, who decided to write music, learn the guitar and play open mics in Boston. He has since made it huge in Ireland, opened for Joan Baez and appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman. He has even shared the stage at Carnegie Hall with Bruce Springsteen – the two singers' songwriting styles are often compared.