Josh Ritter | City Winery | 4/19/17 | Review

Josh Ritter returned to City Winery this week, performing to an eager audience that had been awaiting his performance since he had to cancel the original show back in February due to illness.

The set list for the night included songs from a variety of Ritter’s albums, including Sermon on the Rocks (2015), To The Yet Unknowing World (2011), So Runs the World Away (2010), and more. Ritter treated the audience to a taste of some new songs, as well, joking that “playing a new song is like going on a first date – you want the lights to be low.”

Ritter’s enthusiasm for performing shone throughout during the set, and he frequently remarked on how he was always his happiest while playing for an audience. This passion was especially apparent in the upbeat tunes of songs like “Getting Ready to Get Down” and “Sir Galahad.” During one song, Ritter paused to tell the audience, “I want wild horses to run by you at this part in the song,” which only intensified the country Americana inspiration that could be heard in Ritter’s music.

Throughout the show, Ritter also sprinkled in softer songs like “Silver Blade,” “Dreams,” and “Henrietta, Indiana,” which brought out an almost palpable sense of focus in the crowd as fans seemed to be hanging on to Ritter’s words.

At the end of the show, Ritter gifted the audience a three-song encore, which was greeted with sing-alongs and a standing ovation to end his much-anticipated appearance at City Winery.

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