December 13, 2007

A great night!

What an inspiring and incredibly fun night of music by Josh Ritter and a couple of his bandmates, Sam and Zack, at Passim on Tuesday. The show (actually shows, there was an early set as well) was a benefit for their friend Kate (see entry below), who is battling cancer. The music was wonderful and varied, ranging through all of Josh's albums, from early-career favorites ("Hotel Song") to "Historical" ("Temptation of Adam" and an acoustic "To the Dogs or Whoever"). I don't have a complete setlist, but among the tunes were (in no particular order): "Kathleen," "Harrisburg," "Lawrence, Kansas," "Come and Find Me," "Jiggs," "Good Man,""Wolves,"Here at the Right Time,"Still Beating," and "Empty Hearts." I think this is about right (feel free to correct me!)
Zack played his "Cowboy Song" and there were plenty of laughs and lighthearted moments amid the poignancy of some of Josh's songs to the cause. In all a great night. Below, is a clip from the show.
For a few more pics, click HERE.

December 7, 2007

Concerts for a Friend

On Tuesday, Dec. 11, Josh Ritter will perform two shows at Passim in Cambridge, Mass. to benefit Kate Filanowski who is battling breast cancer (click HERE to read her Caring Bridge blog). Kate, who has a great spirit and a smile to match, is a close friend of Josh and the band as well as the extended band family and, at age 30, is facing huge medical bills for her treatment. We all wish Kate a speedy recovery and these shows, in which all proceeds go to help her out, are a marvelous and thoughtful idea from Josh. The only problem is both shows sold out very quickly and many of Josh's fans, most who don't even live close enough to Passim, would like to help Kate out in some way. So Josh and the band will be auctioning off some really fun items on Ebay, again with all proceeds benefitting Kate's medical costs. There is also a way to donate directly to Kate's cause through Paypal (click HERE).

Below are the items that are available on Ebay. They are available right now!

*Vinyl copy of "The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter" signed by the whole band
*Autographed songbook
*Actual drumhead from concerts, autographed by Josh
*Josh records personalized outgoing message for your phone
*Handwritten, autographed lyrics to "Kathleen" from Josh
*Personalized serenade from Zack on "Nessie" the tuba
*Sam and Zack write, perform and record song just for you
*Drumsticks used on Irish tour and "Jools Holland Show," signed by Josh

December 5, 2007

Hanukkah CD swap, a great tradition

Last year, my sister came up with a fun idea for our family Hanukkah celebration, which usually includes a large group of people coming together for Latkes and boisterous, prop-enhanced renditions of traditional holiday songs (The non-Hanukkah sing-along of "Mule Train" is an added bonus!). My sister's idea was to include a CD swap where everyone has to bring a homemade CD of tunes. Numbers are randomly picked and matched to a CD, one for each person. Everyone leaves with a CD of new music. It's a great way to bring everyone together talking about the really interesting compilations people come up with. I, of course, can't resist coming up with a theme or a reason for my songs. Last year was unusual cover music -- Gillian Welch singing Neil Young's "Pocahontus"; Dar Williams doing Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb," etc.
This year my theme is the "Voice Crush." As I explain on the CD cover, "A voice crush is when you fall in love with someone solely based on the tone of his or her vocals. For them, I’d put a poster of their voices on my wall ... if that were even remotely possible." Actually, I copped this from a blogger out of Cincinnati talking about singer-songwriter Kim Taylor. I find it explains how I fall for certain artists, especially women singer-songwriters.

Anyway here is my song list for this year's CD:
1. "Standing," Patty Griffin
2. "Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson," Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
3. "The Air Is Thin," Jesse Sykes
4. "Old Simon Stimson," Peter Mulvey
5. "Hard to Know," Mindy Smith
6. "That’s So Amazing," Michelle Shocked
7. "Under My Skin," Bob Schneider
8. "Rise Up With Fists!!," Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins
9. "Wrecking Ball," Gillian Welch
10. "Jezebel," Iron and Wine
11. "High Shelf Booze," Eilen Jewell
12. "Water Water," Kris Delmhorst
13. "Los Angeles, I’m Yours," The Decemberists
14. "Modern Love," The Last Town Chorus
15. "People," Kim Taylor
16. "It Makes No Difference," The Band
17. "Ecstasy," Crooked Still