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.
Released to acclaim in the US early last year, 26-year-old Ritter's debut earned him support slots with Dylan and the admiration of Joan Baez. Now available in the UK, this is softly rolling roots-folk with the warmth of John Prine and a twist of Richard Buckner. Townes Van Zandt and Nick Drake ("You've Got The Moon"; "Drive Away") are obvious touchstones, too, but ldaho-born Ritter's lugubrious stealth is rooted in his own earth, addressing the paradox between the allure of the road and the pull of tradition.