Josh Ritter's State Theatre show was a testament to the breadth and depth of his songwriting - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

Located in the city of Easton, the beautiful and ornate historic State Theatre Center for the Arts was host to a free concert for listeners to WXPN’s broadcast area in the Lehigh Valley, Northern Jersey and Poconos on Sunday, September 22nd,  from acclaimed singer-songwriter and author Josh Ritter and opening act, the Northern Ireland rock band Jealous of The Birds, fronted by singer and guitarist Naomi Hamilton.

Performing before an enthusiastic crowd at the State Theatre, Jealous of the Birds warmed up the audience with a 45 minute set of songs culled from their recent EPs Wisdom Teeth and The Moths of What I Want Will Eat Me In My Sleep. They also performed a new single, “The Grass Begins To Eat Itself,” a slow-burning, alt-rock tune that showcased Hamilton’s musical vision with intensity and creative aplomb. 

WXPN presents a free concert with Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band and Jealous of the Birds at the State Theatre September 22, 2019. Photo by DAVE DABOUR

Ritter, currently on tour in support of his recent release Fever Breaks, commanded the audience’s attention from the opening song, “Thunderbolt’s Goodnight,” from his 2017 album Gathering, to the set-closer “All Some Kind Of Dream.” The release of Ritter’s new album this year, marks the 20th year since he debuted with his self-released. self-titled debut in 1999. Since then, he’s amassed an impressive body of work.

Early in his career, Ritter’s unique storytelling ability earned him comparisons to folk icon John Prine. Garnering a small but loyal following amongst singer-songwriter fans, Ritter’s career began to take off with the release of his excellent 2003 release, Hello Starling. With each subsequent release, Ritter continued to evolve his sound, and his show at the State Theatre featured a handful of new songs from his Jason Isbell produced Fever Breaks, and was a journey through some of the best songs from many of his releases, including songs from Sermon On The RocksSo Runs The World Away, The Animal Years, and The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter.

Check out photos from the performance in the gallery below.

Thunderbolt’s Goodnight
Feels Like Lightning
Old Black Magic
Henrietta, Indiana
The Temptation of Adam
On The Water
Losing Battles
Lillian, Egypt
When Will I Be Changed
Folk Bloodbath
Getting Ready To Get Down
The Curse

All Some Kind of Dream
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