Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan triggered Ritter’s initial interest in music, prompting him to visit the local K-Mart to purchase his first guitar. Initially drawn to neuroscience as his intellectual pursuit, Ritter quickly shifted to his own independent major “American History Through Narrative Folk Music.” Ritter landed in Boston where he played open mic nights and was fortunate to gain the attention of Glen Hansard, who invited him to Scotland to open on his upcoming tour.
Josh Ritter recorded his first two records independently. The second Golden Age of Radio was made on a $1000 budget. Signature Sounds offered to remaster and re-release the album after hearing Ritter perform and the new version along with his time on Hansards’ tour produced a popular song in Ireland. Ritter found himself a success via word of mouth throughout Ireland.
By 2015 Josh Ritter was releasing his eighth studio album. Sermon on the Rocks was his second record to reach number one on the folk charts. Since then Ritter has released two more records.Since 2002’s Golden Age of Radio, Ritter has consistently earned high praise for his songwriting. Along the way he released a novel and convinced Jason Isbell to produce his latest record with backing from the 400 Unit.