Sunday, February 24th, 2008
CONTEST – A Helmet Full Of Ritter
Photo by Shana Novak
While Josh Ritter is no stranger to these parts, it seems every time he comes to town for a show, it’s billed as a “special acoustic solo show” or something and is booked into a room much smaller than he’d probably normally play (note this is based on the sample group of his last two visits to Toronto. Which really isn’t all that many, though I suspect the streak runs longer than that. Either way, for my purposes, I’m going to say it’s been, oh, 50). Which is all well and good, I caught one of these special, solo shows last February, and it was as enjoyable and intimate experience as it was surely intended and Ritter’s an engaging enough performer to pull off the solo thing easily.
But while he may be a folksinger at heart, his records – particularly his rollicking 2007 release The Historical Conquests Of Josh Ritter – have a broader sonic reach than can be done justice by a guy with an acoustic guitar. They demand a band. And finally, with his current tour, Ritter is responding. He’s not only got a full musical backing on this jaunt, but he’s playing halls that won’t sell out the second after the show is announced, which isn’t to say that ditherers won’t be shut out but this time, they’ll have no one to blame but themselves.
Ritter’s historical conquistadors will pillage The Phoenix in Toronto on March 4 and courtesy of Sony/BMG Canada, I’ve got a bunch of stuff to give away in conjunction with the show. First off, two grand prize packs consisting of a pair of passes to the show as well as a copy of Historical Conquests on CD. And I have an additional three copies of the album on CD to dole out to runners-up/non-showgoers. Entry is as follows: shoot me an email at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I wish to conquer history” in the subject line, your full name and mailing address in the body and also note if you would like to attend the show or just get a CD (residents of Canada only, please). This contest will close at midnight, February 28.
Anyone wishing to read the words of Ritter, check out interviews with The Montreal Gazette, The Calgary Herald, The Province, I Like Music and Female First. And the complete audio from a show from last year’s acoustic tour is available to download here.