Sermon On The Rocks, the latest album from singer/songwriter Josh Ritter, will be released on October 16th. It was announced this morning via Ritter’s social media and email newsletter, along with a new song “Getting Ready To Get Down.” It’s a bit different from most of Ritter’s music, and a LOT different from his previous record The Beast In Its Tracks. Recorded in New Orleans instead of the usual Great Northern Sound Society in Maine, it has a fun recklessness abandon to it that’s been missing on the last couple releases.
Upon first hearing the beat and the cadence with which the lyrics were being delivered, I wasn’t sure I liked the song. Seemed a bit like a Paul Simon ripoff. But the verse leading up to the bridge sold me, with call backs to older well-known songs (amazing “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” reference) and the line “Jesus hates your high school dances.”
Ritter always brings a great intelligence and oratory skill set to his music. This time it’s joined by a more pop-friendly mainstream sound. Could this be the one that puts him over the hump and into the ears of a wider audience? If so, it’s about freaking time! I already pre-ordered my copy of the deluxe vinyl (sorry, can’t afford the $500 Handwritten Lyrics bundle). If you like what you hear above, you should order one too!