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How “Getting Ready To Get Down” came together

  • By Team Ritter


“Getting Ready to Get Down” was the last song of the many that I wrote for Sermon on the Rocks. I wrote it (for the most part) on the back porch looking at an apple tree and alternating coffee, bourbon and ice water.

For me, the early stage of the writing process is far from precise. I have bits and pieces of lyric stuff in my mind and I have a guitar or a keyboard and I just start banging blocks together, waiting for a fit.

I was working on something else entirely, just staring off into space and strumming away like you see in movies, when the first half of the first verse bounced into my mind.

“Mama got a look at you and got a little worried…”

After this long writing songs I ought to know a juicy first line when I hear one. Really good first lines don’t come along every day, so I dropped the song that I was working on and spent two afternoons on Get Down.

When I was done I wasn’t sure exactly what I had. Was this a song for Sermon? If not, what was it for? I recorded a demo of the song and sent it off to Trina Shoemaker, who was making the record with me. Her feedback convinced me that the song had a place.

Two months later Sam Kassirer, Zack Hickman, Josh Kaufman, Matt Barrick and I were in the studio recording take after take until we felt we’d found the right fire. I was expecting it to feel good, but as the arrangement got tighter and tighter I realized we had a real gem. It is a pleasure to have this be the first song folks hear from the record. I consider the album to be pretty adventurous and wild, and I think Get Down really gets the party started.

Pre-ordered your copy of Sermon on the Rocks yet? Get yours here



Album release shows on sale today

The Royal City Band and I will be playing some special shows in October to celebrate the release of Sermon on the Rocks. Tickets go on sale this morning. Can’t wait to play these new songs for you!

Oct 19     The Sinclair     Cambridge, MA     Tickets
Oct 20     Port City Music Hall     Portland, ME     Tickets
Oct 21     Academy of Music     Northampton, MA     Tickets
Oct 22     Rough Trade     Brooklyn, NY     Tickets
Oct 24     Avalon Theatre     Easton, MD     Tickets
Oct 25     Mr. Small’s Theatre     Pittsburgh, PA     Tickets
Oct 26     Lincoln Theatre     Washington, DC     Tickets



WATCH: “Getting Ready To Get Down” Lyric Video

I sat down and made this lyric video (with Liam’s help) for “Get Down,” hope you dig it!



Sermon On The Rocks – out October 16


Listen to “Getting Ready To Get Down” at NPR Music

Pre-Order the record exclusively at

Hey all!
I have a new record coming out on October 16.
It’s called Sermon On The Rocks.
I made it in New Orleans earlier this year.

I wanted the wind off the Gulf. I wanted the air that touches the skin. I wanted the paint that sticks to the back of the eyeball. I wanted the scream of nutrias. I wanted a house full of music and laughter. I wanted to make something grand. I wanted it to swing hard. I wanted to peek through death’s keyhole. I wanted my monster to run. I wanted to sing songs that I had written in stretches of frenzy. I wanted to fall in love with every note. I wanted to hold each one and let it slip away like ribbon through the hands. I wanted to make something important to me and to no one else. I wanted it like I’ve never wanted anything in my life. I wanted it because life is short and I wouldn’t want to leave it without giving it all of my love.

I wanted to work with Trina Shoemaker, whose genius is utter and pure.I wanted to work with Zack Hickman, Sam Kassirer, Josh Kaufman and Matt Barrick because they are among the most imaginative people I have ever had the honor of knowing. I wanted to play in a beautiful studio all day and walk home at night through the ghosty wedding cake houses of the Garden District dark. I wanted to play messianic oracular honky-tonk.

Mama says that I was born hungry, but I woke up one morning not long ago and found that I was ravenous.

I’m playing some special album release shows with the Royal City Band in October. Those tickets go on sale Friday. Check for details. More shows to be announced soon.

Can’t wait for you to hear it,



Josh & band + Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, Oct 10th

  • By Team Ritter

We’re honored to announce that Josh & the Royal City Band will be playing a special show with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra on October 10th in their gorgeous concert hall.  We don’t do these orchestra shows very often and are super excited about this.  We are working up some arrangements of a few new album songs for this show, too.
Tickets are on-sale now
Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band
+ the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra
Saturday, Oct 10th
Macky Auditorium, CU-BoulderCampus



Josh to play Celebrate Brooklyn with Damien Rice

  • By Team Ritter

celebrate_brooklynBrooklyn!  Josh has been added as a very special guest to Damien Rice’s Celebrate Brooklyn show on June 17th at the Prospect Park Bandshell. More info and tickets here:



Acoustic Live Vol. 1: Somerville, MA available now

  • By Team Ritter

Josh_Ritter_AL Vol_1_Cover

Josh Ritter’s Live Acoustic Vol. 1: Somerville, MA is out now! Available on limited deluxe 180 gram orange vinyl LPs and digipak CD from:

Josh Ritter Webstore:
Your Local Record Store:
MP3s available from:



Spring Cleaning Web Store Sale

  • By Team Ritter


It’s time for some spring cleaning in the official web store. For a limited time, shirts are available from $5, hoodies from $10. Get them before they’re gone!



New shows in May

  • By Team Ritter

5 new show announcements today!

On sale NOW:
May 3 – Rams Head On Stage – Annapolis, MD –
May 4 – Rams Head On Stage – Annapolis, MD –

On sale Friday at 12PM. Barnstar!​ supports:
May 28 – F.M. Kirby Center – Wilkes Barre, PA –
May 29 – Tarrytown Music Hall – Tarrytown, NY –
May 31 – South Orange Performing Arts Center – South Orange, NJ –