Am I singing you the right blues? Oh Yes You’re Mr Ritter

Over the bank holiday weekend The Modelprogrammed a very special New Spaces for Music gig for the Sligo Live festival. On Sunday October 25th, over three hundred people poured into Calry Church on The Mall for an evening with Josh Ritter and the Love Canon String Band. Our Marketing Assistant Denise Rushe wrote a short review of the evening and it’s events.

Where to start? Well, in the right venue would have been a good place. I arrived at 6pm on time to Calry Church for an exciting evening of work, looking after the front of house for the gig. With a quick ring to Aoife, I soon discovered there are indeed two Calry Churches in Sligo and I was most definitely at the wrong one, a few kilometres outside of town. I zoomed back into town to the other Calry Church on the Mall opposite our own building.

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A light rain had started to fall, and by the time I got back to the church, a queue had begun outside. The last minute checks were made and then we finally opened the door. Tickets and wristbands a go-go, the crowds started to pour in and the church was soon packed to the rafters. A night of story telling, folk and ballad songs ensued.

Support on the night was provided by the wonderful Richard Julien, a talented singer who had befriended Josh in Mexico some years back.

Those who have been following Josh since his career kicked off in Ireland may remember a couple of earlier gigs in Sligo. I made it to one of them and also caught him in Dublin a couple of times but this was definitely the best performance of the lot. It also coincided nicely with the end of Josh’s Irish nationwide tour, so the congregation were kindly treated to an extended night of beautiful songs such as ‘Me And Jigs’, ‘Harrisburg’, ‘Bright Smile’, ‘Right Moves’, an awesome cover of Moon River and also Bruce Springsteen’s ‘The River’.

Ritter appeared as possibly the happiest man in the room, smiles and warmth, laughter and jokes accompanied the music in the church that night. The quirky Love Canon String Band provided theatrical moments, and musical support to the main man. Deep notes of the double bass, guitar, banjo and mandelin created the most sublime sounds that were complimented by the acoustics of the church.

Epic encore upon encore followed, including a return of Richard Julien. The band were also joined on stage by special guest Rick Epping on mouth organs.

So much was packed into one sublime evening of music on a very wintry night in Sligo. A toe tapping, hand clapping evening with Josh Ritter and the Love Canon String Band was by far the best way to end a wonderful weekend of musical delights and surprises at the Sligo Live Festival.

Josh Ritter with the Love Canon String Band, and special guest Rick Epping, and Richard Julien at Calry Church.