Josh Ritter is a gem. The songwriter, band leader, novelist, painter is one of the contemporary artists I admire most, for the wit, generosity and breadth of his various works. He’s always writing about America, and there’s no easy morality, but there’s plenty of joy. I got to talk to him for Westword about working with Jason Isbell & Joan Baez, adopting a child, how records are “catalogues of obsession,” and songwriting, which he says is like “trying to describe objects as they fly by you.”
Below is a version of “Temptation of Adam,” which is a song that always undoes me by saying everything there is to say.