Music » Critics' Picks

Josh Ritter

8 p.m. Friday, July 22. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue.

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Newly minted novelist Josh Ritter is at heart a folkie, writing songs ever under the spell of Townes Van Zandt and John Prine. But unlike most of his idols, he's obsessive about the sound of his records, at least since the early 2000s. That sonic stretch found its fullest extension on last year's So Runs the World Away, an album that makes good on a Shakespearean title with hyper-literate songs fused with mangy noise, doomful percussion and gothic strings. He's come by his success with little aid of the indie hype machine — Paste doesn't count — and sold out Off Broadway in a matter of weeks. Don't bet on ever seeing him in such a small club again.

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