The release of Gathering marks 20 years since Ritter began recording and performing music. Along with his loyal band-mates, the Royal City Band, and engineer Trina Shoemaker, Ritter returned to the Clubhouse studio in Rhinebeck, NY with more songs than he’d ever had before at one time.
Re-energized after a recent collaboration with legendary musician Bob Weir and—at the same time—tired of living in the shadow of his earlier self, Ritter felt charged with exploring the possibility of cutting himself loose from his own and others’ expectations.
“I began with an exciting sense of dissatisfaction, and what emerged, as I began to find my voice, was a record full of storms’, says Josh. “I still can’t tell what era these stories are from. They feel part roustabout, part psalm to me.”
The 13 songs featured on the album touch on themes of uncertainty, mania, laughter and sadness. In addition to “Showboat,” highlights include “When Will I Be Changed,” which features special guest vocals and guitar from Bob Weir. An avid visual artist, Ritter also painted the artwork for the album cover and the various single covers.
In support of the release, Ritter and the Royal City Band will kick off an extensive tour this winter, including a date at London’s Shepherd Bush Empire. Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band Play: