113 - Hello Starling by Josh Ritter 2003
Looking like a romantic poet on the cover Josh Ritter's second lp has a folky rock sound and a worn in vocal that makes the whole thing feel timeless, in that it could have been released in anytime during the last 30 years.
Starting with a plucked guitar and a deceptively sing along long song that invokes the spirit of Nick Drake (Bright Smile), the lp has guitar , Hammond organ and percussion welded together in a crisp sharp sound.
There is an easy comparison to Dylan especially in the panoramic lyrics of the following
What pulls the lp above the usual Americana is a focus on tunes (it isn't a surprise that Ritter found success in Europe before his homeland) as well as a real sense of joy in a number of the songs which also gives the lp a real ebb and flow
This is one of those lps where I'm not that much of a fan of any of its obvious influences and whereas a someone steeped in some of the sounds' roots would probably call it a pale imitation I just think it a great set of songs with a backing that allows them to breathe
You can buy Hello Starling here