Josh Ritter: The Sound Of Something True

  This article appears in the November/December 2015 issue, now available on newsstands. “I once read that we all share atoms with Jesus,” Josh Ritter told me on a humid August afternoon in Brooklyn. “But we don’t all share atoms with Elvis, because he hasn’t been dead long enough.” Ritter is answering a question about recent changes in his life, but hearing him rattle off such a quote out of nowhere comes as no surprise. Interviewing Josh Ritter is not all that different from listening to his music: He is a lively conversationalist, bursting with words, ideas, and metaphors. His train of thought, like many of his best songs, often zig-zags in surprising directions, ending up in places one never could have predicted. Self-change is a topic that keeps coming up for Ritter. Lately, he’s been going through a lot of it: After divorcing his first wife a few years ago, Ritter has since found a new partner, moved to a farmhouse in upstate New York, become a first-time father, and, most recently, moved back to the city. “I had been having this lyrical thought in my head for a while, it felt like an old Cole Porter song: ‘A…

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