Josh Ritter’s Contagious Happiness

If everyone was as happy and fulfilled as Josh Ritter, the world would be a very different place.

From the balcony seats at Revolution Hall, where we saw him and the Royal City Band play the first of two sold out shows in Portland, you could see him grinning through every song. Grinning hard, like it was the first time he’d ever received a round of applause for the goddamned magical tunes he writes.

This was part of his national tour to promote Sermon On The Rocks, a new album. You can hear the rest of it here and check for other tour stops.

The show was really a two-for-one deal, as Elephant Revival started things off with vocal voodoo that had everyone enchanted. Bonnie Paine, who plays the washboard, stompboard, musical saw, djembe and probably seven other lesser-touted instruments, sings like she has magical powers.