Touring in support of acclaimed ‘Beast in Its Tracks’

LEWISTON — Touring behind a 2013 recording celebrated for its fresh approach to the weary theme of love gone wrong, singer-songwriter Josh Ritter will perform at Bates College at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 2, in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 75 Russell St.

Named one of the “100 Greatest Living Songwriters” by Paste magazine in 2006, Ritter is an American musician and author known for his distinctive Americana style and storytelling lyrics. The Bates concert is part of an acoustic tour presenting Ritter’s songs stripped down and intimate.

His latest album, “The Beast in Its Tracks,” was released in March 2013 on Pytheas Recordings. It follows 2010’s “So Runs The World Away” (Pytheas), about which NPR Music’s Bob Boilen declared, “I’ve come to expect good records from him … but this one took my breath away.”

“Beast” is making its own mark thanks to the recently divorced Ritter’s eschewing of a one-dimensional approach to that old musical cliché, the breakup album. “The Beast In Its Tracks” offers a “messy, sometimes undignified emotional complexity, placing venom and malice alongside cheery faith and fresh optimism,” wrote Jonathan Bernstein for American Songwriter.

“On the album’s best songs, the singer spends his energy convincing himself he’s over a tough breakup and in a better, happier place with his new-found love.”

The songwriter himself said, “In the year after my marriage ended, I realized that I had more new songs than I’d ever had at one time. Far from the grand, sweeping feel of the songs on ‘So Runs the World Away,’ these new songs felt like rocks in the shoe, hard little nuggets of whatever they were, be it spite, remorse or happiness.”

Ritter’s other albums include “Josh Ritter” (self-released), “Golden Age of Radio” (Signature Sounds), “Hello Starling” (Signature), “The Animal Years” (V2), and “The Historical Conquests of

” (Independent Records).

In 2011, Ritter made his literary debut with his New York Times best-selling novel, “Bright’s Passage,” published by Dial Press/Random House. The book “shines with a compressed lyricism that recalls Ray Bradbury in his prime,” Stephen King wrote in The New York Times Book Review. “This is the work of a gifted novelist.”

Admission to this Olin Arts Alive series concert is $35, available through For more information, contact 207-786-6135 or [email protected]

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