RItter on the path to bigger things

COLIN WILSON Josh Ritter returns to the UK following the release of his critically-acclaimed album, Hello Starling, and plays Norwich Arts Centre, off St Benedict's, on Monday, November 22.

COLIN WILSON

Josh Ritter returns to the UK following the release of his critically-acclaimed album, Hello Starling, and plays Norwich Arts Centre, off St Benedict's, on Monday, November 22.

Born in the late Seventies, Josh bought his first guitar from the local K-Mart after hearing the Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash classic Girl from the North Country.

On a shoestring budget, he recorded Golden Age of Radio in 2001 which sold several thousand copies. A copy found its way into the hands of Jim Olsen and Signature Sounds Recordings and the record was released nationally in the US in 2002. Critics called the album “stunning”, “elegant” and “damn near perfect”.

Meanwhile, at a Boston gig, Josh met Glen Hansard of the Frames, who invited him to open a string of shows for the band in Ireland. Josh's career took flight in Ireland, buoyed by the single Me and Jiggs, which entered the Irish top 40 and helped Josh gain full-blown cult status, complete with sold-out headline tours.

When Hello Starling was released in Ireland in 2003, it entered the charts at number two and in 2004's Hot Press Magazine Readers' Poll Josh topped the categories International Male (ahead of Justin Timberlake) and International Songwriter (ahead of Ryan Adams, Thom Yorke, Jack White and David Gray).

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Josh has spent much of 2004 in the UK and Europe – first as special guest of Joan Baez, then as opener for Counting Crows and Damien Rice. The highlight, though, has been rapturously received headline dates with his own band in England and Ireland and summer appearances at Cambridge Folk Festival and V. In the US, he was recently nominated for the 2004 Shortlist Music Prize and garnered a Boston Music Award for Best Song.

Doors 8.30pm. Tickets £9 advance, £10 door. Box office: 01603 660352

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