Josh Ritter, Martha Redbone, Birds of Chicago

A triple bill bursting at the seams with exceptional, literate songcraft.

Ten years ago Paste Magazine put JOSH RITTER on its 100 Greatest Living Songwriters list, and the honor was well deserved; his incisive narratives and warm delivery make him one of the finest storytellers in music. Ritter has released eight studio albums since his 1999 self-titled debut and one well-received novel, Bright’s Passage (Dial Press, 2011). His most recent record is 2015’sSermon on the Rocks (Pytheas Recordings), which was recorded in New Orleans.

The soulful vocalist MARTHA REDBONE’s music flows equally from her own unique, award-winning blend of Native American elements with funk and her deep roots in Appalachian folk and Piedmont blues. She adapts William Blake’s poetry in her new project The Garden of Love, in which “the mystical, humanistic words of the eighteenth-century English poet are fused with the melodies, drones, and rhythms of the Appalachian string-band music that Redbone absorbed as a child from her grandparents, in Black Mountain, Kentucky.” (New Yorker)

And BIRDS OF CHICAGO, led by husband and wife JT Nero and Allison Russell, will reflect on “the intense, freewheeling, all-too-fleeting attachments of youth” (NPR) with wistful, meditative lyrics and luminous harmonies. Their 2016 sophomore record Real Midnight (Five Head Entertainment) was produced by Joe Henry.