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Josh Ritter On His Latest Album And Working With Jason Isbell

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Josh Ritter

Americana musician Josh Ritter will be touring through Oklahoma City on Sunday, June 16th at Tower Theatre. He talked to KOSU intern, Matthew Viriyapah, about his latest album, Fever Breaks, working with Jason Isbell, and protest songs.

Hear the interview above and read some highlights below.

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On his new album Fever Breaks 

The overriding influence on Fever Breaks was kind of the world in 2019 and 2018.

And the feeling-- the anxiety of something about to topple.

On protest songs

One of the things I don't care for in a lot of protest writing is the idea that you have to educate. We're just songwriters. We don't know anything more than anybody else. But we can respect the issues by respecting the questions that are involved. Because I think that songs are the way we can appreciate each others' struggles as being human.

On open mics

There's a lot to be said about the multitude of ways we can share music. I think that's incredible... For those of us who make our lives as working and traveling musicians, there's a huge amount to be said for learning your craft and kind of duking it out in all kinds of situations.

As a person who kind of came out of open mics, I feel a real gratitude for allowing people like me to cut our teeth and figure out what we were doing as performers, and it's an amazing place to start.

Favorite song off Fever Breaks to play live

I've never felt the need to like get behind the wheel of a sports car. But we play "Old Black Magic" as a band and it's like sitting on the engine block.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qA8VQHicYpo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1rrETw5elw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZGjXG1K8uY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5dw2DSABFg

Matthew Viriyapah is KOSU's production assistant and host of the music podcast Songwriters & Tour Riders.
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