Josh Ritter plots return to Boston

, Staff

Josh Ritter will return to the Hub in 2011 for a show at the House of Blues. The singer-songwriter and longtime New England favorite will hit the Lansdowne Street venue on Friday, February 11 with his Royal City Band. Tickets for the show, which is being dubbed the “Valentine’s Day Brawl”, are now on sale through Ticketmaster for $25 and $35. Scott Hutchison, frontman for Scottish indie rockers Frightened Rabbit, will open the show with a solo set.

Ritter, who is nominated for Artist of the Year in this year’s Boston Music Awards, will be touring in support of his new release, So Runs The World Away. Released last April on Record Store Day, the new album is his sixth studio effort and first since 2007’s The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter. Recorded over 15 months at the Great North Sound Society in Maine, with additional recording at Brooklyn’s Saltlands Studio, So Runs The World Away continues Ritter’s longtime collaboration with producer and keyboard player Sam Kassirer. Additionally, the album features the return of Ritter’s core line-up of touring bandmates: Zack Hickman, Austin Nevins and Liam Hurley.

“I think of the songs on So Runs the World Away like pictures painted in oil on large canvasses,” explained Ritter in a press release. “It’s a record preoccupied with the extremes of scale, from infinitesimal particles to the nearly incomprehensible distances between the head of a pin and a nebula. Where the songs felt large to me, I wanted them to be huge, both musically and lyrically. I wanted them to feel like the steel hulls of massive ships sliding by deeply from below. Where they were small, I concentrated in on the smallest details that I could and we tried to make the music and the words work together. I love writing, and this was the most fulfilling record I’ve yet written.”

In related news, Ritter has been working on his first novel. Set for a tentative publication date next summer on Dial Press/Random House, the untitled novel is set in rural West Virginia in the aftermath of the First World War.

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