Article Contributed by Sacks and Company | Published on Tuesday, January 9, 2018

“Miles Away,” a new stand-alone single from acclaimed artist Josh Ritter, debuts today—listen here: Of the track, Ritter says, “I wrote ‘Miles Away’ a few years ago after flipping through a book of photos of the Earth from space. Zack Hickman produced it and plays most of the instruments on the song.  I didn’t quite know what to do with song, so I held on to it. Still, I really wanted it to see the light of day, so I’m putting it out there and I’m really grateful to you for listening to it.”

The new song comes in advance of Ritter and The Royal City Band’s extensive run of North American tour dates including stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Portland and Denver as well as a debut headline performance at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium on February 16. Tickets for the winter tour are on sale now and include a download of Ritter’s acclaimed new album, Gathering. See below for complete details.

Gathering—out now via Pytheas Recordings/ Thirty Tigers—continues to receive widespread critical praise. NPR Music proclaims, “Josh Ritter remains at the top of his game two decades into a highlight-strewn career. He’d be forgiven for loosening his grip, but his hand has never felt surer,” while Rolling Stone adds, “Midway between the country, gospel and soul camps, with thickly stacked harmonies that evoke the Dead’s own folk-rock classic American Beauty.” HuffPost furthers, “Gathering is beautiful and precise, and most of the beauty, to be certain, arises from a prolonged, often intimate contemplation of Ritter’s enormous skill set as an honest bard.”

The release of Gathering marks 20 years since Ritter began recording and performing music. Along with his loyal bandmates, the Royal City Band, and engineer Trina Shoemaker, Ritter returned to the Clubhouse studio in Rhinebeck, NY with more songs than he’d ever had before at one time. Re-energized after a recent collaboration with legendary artist Weir and—at the same time—tired of living in the shadow of his earlier self, Ritter felt charged with exploring the possibility of cutting himself loose from his own and others’ expectations. In his words, “I began with an exciting sense of dissatisfaction, and what emerged, as I began to find my voice, was a record full of storms. I still can’t tell what era these stories are from. They feel part roustabout, part psalm to me.”

Over the course of his acclaimed two-decade career, Ritter has released eight full-length albums including his most recent, 2015’s Sermon On The Rocks, which received widespread critical praise— The New York Times said, “The literary-minded songwriter Josh Ritter…recharges his music on his eighth studio album, Sermon On The Rocks…Harking back to Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and maybe a little Mark Knopfler, Mr. Ritter has always been a slinger of serious ideas and high-flown imagery” and The Wall Street Journal furthered, “The new album’s music is airy, propulsive and more often than not, catchy.” 

Most recently, in 2015, Ritter began a close collaboration with Bob Weir and went on to write or co-write many of the twelve songs on Weir’s acclaimed 2016 solo album, Blue Mountain. Pitchfork called the album, “quietly adventurous, wise, and a welcome late-career turn,” while Entertainment Weekly described it as, “a moving group of tunes worthy of any campfire.”

In addition to his work as a musician, Ritter made his debut as a published author in 2011 with his New York Times best-selling novel, Bright’s Passage (Dial Press/Random House). Of the work, Stephen King wrote in The New York Times Book Review, “Shines with a compressed lyricism that recalls Ray Bradbury in his prime…This is the work of a gifted novelist.”

The Royal City Band is Zachariah Hickman (bass, acoustic guitar, wurlitzer), Sam Kassirer (piano, organ, synthesizers, percussion), Josh Kaufman (guitar, synthesizer) and Ray Rizzo (drums, percussion).


January 12—Austin, TX—ACL Live at the Moody Theater*

January 13—Houston, TX—Heights Theater*

January 15—Tucson, AZ—Rialto Theater*

January 16—San Diego, CA—Belly Up*

January 17—Los Angeles, CA—Teragram Ballroom*

January 19—San Francisco, CA—The Fillmore*

January 20—San Francisco, CA—The Fillmore†

January 21—Sacramento, CA—Crest Theatre*

January 23—Sisters, OR—Sisters High School*

January 24—Portland, OR—Crystal Ballroom*

January 25—Seattle, WA—Neptune*

January 26—Spokane, WA—Knitting Factory*

January 27—Boise, ID—Knitting Factory*

January 29—Denver, CO—Ogden*

January 30—Lawrence, KS—Liberty Hall

January 31—Minneapolis, MN—Fitzgerald Theater

February 16—Nashville, TN—Ryman Auditorium‡ 

February 17—Louisville, KY—KCD Theatre

February 18—Louisville, KY—KCD Theatre

February 20—Vancouver, BC—Commodore Ballroom§ 

February 21—Nelson, BC—Spiritbar§

February 22—Banff, AB—Eric Harvie Theatre§ 

February 23—St. Albert, AB—Arden Theatre§ 

February 24—St. Albert, AB—Arden Theatre§ 

February 26—Saskatoon, SK—Broadway Theatre§

February 27—Swift Current, SK—Lyric Theatre§ 

February 28—Winnipeg, MB—Park Theatre§ 

March 1—Fargo, ND—Fargo Theatre

March 2—Omaha, NE—Slowdown

*Nicki Bluhm

†Dustbowl Revival

‡Mandolin Orange

§Leeroy Stagger