June 30: Josh Ritter brings his ‘Works In Progress + Songs You Know’ Tour to Tupelo Music Hall

Josh Ritter performs June 30 at Tupelo Music Hall in Derry. Photo/Sam Kassirer


Tupelo Music Hall 

10 A St, Derry, NH 03038

Josh Ritter, June 30, 8 p.m.

DERRY, NH – Ever since the release of his self-titled debut album back in 1999, Josh Ritter has been considered one of the best songwriters to emerge over the past 25 years. A native of Moscow, Idaho, Ritter’s approach to music evokes timeless Americana while weaving in the styles of country, folk and rock with a knack for clever storytelling through his lyrics.

The former is due to the likes of Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan being a central part of his musical upbringing as the latter is influenced by authors Flannery O’Connor, Philip Roth and Dennis Lehane and the legendary playwright William Shakespeare. As part of a current tour he’s on that’s being titled “Works In Progress + Songs You Know”, Ritter is going to be performing solo at Tupelo Music Hall in Derry on June 30. The show starts at 8 p.m. with Ritter trying out a bunch of different material while also playing a few fan favorites. 

The expedition comes off of the release of Ritter’s latest album “Spectral Lines” that came out on April 28 of last year via the Nashville based music marketing, distribution and management company Thirty Tigers. Along with Ritter handling the songwriting via his guitar and vocals, he worked with longtime collaborator and producer Sam Kassirer, who played piano, organ, mellotron, synths and drums during the recording process. To add various elements, Jocie Adams from the Providence art rock act Arc Aris lended her talents on clarinet, synths and backing vocals while Matt Douglas contributed on woodwinds, Zachariah Hickman played both upright and electric bass, Rich Hinman added sonic tones via electric guitar and pedal steel, Dietrich Strauss strummed on both an acoustic and electric guitar and both Shane Leonard and Kevin O’Connell left their imprint through a variety of instruments ranging from drums to percussion to guitar and to bass. 

“I wanted to make a record that looked outward,” Ritter said on Instagram a few months before the official unveiling of ‘Spectral Lines’. “Following close on the heels of time as it traveled forward, looking toward the future, rather than backward at the record of things past. The songs on ‘Spectral Lines’ float forward through all kinds of sonic environments, from the winds of Mars, through realms caustic and sumptuous. Sam Kassirer and a host of angelic musicians helped me as I traveled. The signal that the lyrics beam out is composed of light, in the spectrums of imminence and resolve and love.”

“I think it’s important for us to share some of our most basic and common experiences with each other, however we can,” he added via a press release. “That’s what we really, really need right now. I know we have common experiences, and it’s important to telegraph those back because they don’t have to be lonely experiences.”

Highlights off of the full-length record include “Horse No Rider,” “For Your Soul,” “Whatever Burns Will Burn,” and “In Fields.” There’s a chance that at least one of these songs will be played in stripped down fashion when Ritter performs at Tupelo Music Hall this weekend while being included with a bunch of others. 

“I’ve realized that a necessary part of working on records is finding the material that hangs together,” he says about his “Works In Progress + Songs You Know” expedition. “I write a lot of songs, and not all of them play nicely with the others. The most useful, and fun, way to find a song’s heart is to periodically play some shows where I’m able to get it all out there and see how I feel about them. I’m really looking forward to these shows for the chance to get all these songs, and some that are old friends, out on the table for a good time.”

To purchase tickets for the upcoming show along and get the scoop on what’s happening at Tupelo Music Hall in the coming weeks, log onto tupelomusichall.com. For more information on Josh Ritter and to check out his music, head on over to joshritter.com