Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

On the Road – Josh Ritter in Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Telluride

Time for a confession: the latest On The Road diary comes from the man whose tour blog for The Huffington Post and Paste gave On The Record the notion to do these diaries in the first place. Josh Ritter is …

Wed, Jul 23, 2008, 08:18


Time for a confession: the latest On The Road diary comes from the man whose tour blog for The Huffington Post and Paste gave On The Record the notion to do these diaries in the first place. Josh Ritter is back on the road once again, this time co-headlining some shows through the US midwest with Andrew Bird and playing a few festivals as well. More words (and pictures) from the road to come. Josh plays the sold-out Electric Picnic festival at Stradbally, Co Laois on August 30.

July 15 – Highway 15, Utah

The mountains all around us are as enormous as the mountains surrounding Salt Lake City have a habit of being, and the hotel billboards along the side of the road have grown bigger and more insistent in the last hour, so I’ll assume that we’re getting fairly close to our destination.

My band and I are beginning a short run of what promises to be some really, really fun shows. We’re doing four co-bills with the mighty Andrew Bird, and playing some great festivals in the inter-mountain West and Canada.

For those of you new to my postcards from the road, I’ll talk about the shows some, but since it’s only a portion of what goes on out here that isn’t all that I’ll report on. It’s a pretty wild time to be an American. The economy is crumbling at the same time that we are in the midst of a political season that is so charged with individual and collective possibilities that it sometimes feels like we’re an enormous storm cloud full of lightning and rain.


For the present though, there is the possibility of a hotel shower and that will do fine. We arrived in Phoenix yesterday and rehearsed at a little studio on the edge of town. It was 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 Celsius) and a big sign hung on the outer door warning visitors to beware of letting snakes into the building. Rehearsal went great and we met the bus that evening and began the 12 hour drive to Salt Lake City.
The show in Salt Lake City went great. After a couple weeks off, we are dusting some of the material off a bit and trying some new things to keep us as players thinking hard. My band is so great. I was talking with Andrew Bird after the show and we were both saying how there were times we could cry at how much fun it was to play with our bands.

July 18 – The Steaming Bean, Telluride, Colorado

I have a bit of jet lag so I went to bed fairly early and woke up in Telluride in front of the Opera House where we’re playing our own show tonight. It’ll be a long show, with no opener and I’m excited to get it underway. We are high, high up in the Rockies now and I’m feeling that tiny buzz that comes from oxygen deprivation. They say to sit down if you start to see spots in front of your eyes. I think I’ll go for a run this afternoon and see what I can see.


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