Josh Ritter – Hello Starling

Already touted as the next big thing, this 26-year-old Idaho native retains the folk-country purr of first album Golden Age Of Radio, and there's an obvious debt to Dylan in the subtle phrasing. Mostly set to quietly rolling acoustic guitar—with Sam Kassirer's Hammond adding an Al Kooper-like undertow—Hello Starling casts Ritter in the same wry glow as early Jackson Browne or James Taylor. Celtic ballad "Kathleen" proves he's fully assimilated the traditional, and the lovely "Wings" was recently covered by Joan Baez.

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Already touted as the next big thing, this 26-year-old Idaho native retains the folk-country purr of first album Golden Age Of Radio, and there’s an obvious debt to Dylan in the subtle phrasing. Mostly set to quietly rolling acoustic guitar?with Sam Kassirer’s Hammond adding an Al Kooper-like undertow?Hello Starling casts Ritter in the same wry glow as early Jackson Browne or James Taylor. Celtic ballad “Kathleen” proves he’s fully assimilated the traditional, and the lovely “Wings” was recently covered by Joan Baez. There are hints, too, that he’s a kind of David Gray for the roots crowd (“Snow Is Gone”). But don’t let that put you off.

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