JOSH RITTER ‘Fever Breaks’ – CD


Available on backorder


Fever Breaks, the latest work from 42 year-old singer-songwriter Josh Ritter, feels like a vital career summation – a survey course sampler in a word-swilling artist’s narrative gifts and endearing empathy.

The album was produced by Jason Isbell, with Isbell’s band The 400 Unit also on backing duties – and it turns out the two make a great pairing. Together, they infuse Ritter’s ever-incisive songwriting with a bit of gutty Southern-rock heft. Ritter, Isbell and the 400 Unit all suit one another nicely, knowing when to seethe, when to swing and when to lean into the turbulence of it all. There is also a stellar contribution from the 400 Unit’s Amanda Shires, who provides soaring harmonies and some truly emotive violin work, adds considerable sonic heft to the proceedings, and help to imbue Ritter’s workmanlike folk-rock narratives with admirable studio finesse.

Throughout Fever Breaks, Josh Ritter tweaks and further reinvigorates a sound and songwriting approach that’s lost none of its vitality or urgency in 20 years. He remains a hydrant of ideas while embodying an endless capacity for empathy and indignation, often within a single song. Ritter is as relevant as ever, and sounding better than ever too.