If Evil Exists, It’s a Pair of Train Tracks: The Many Harrisburgs of Josh Ritter

Josh Ritter put on an amazing show at the Cannery Ballroom last night. It was the rare 2-hour concert that never lagged. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a musician have so much fun onstage. See him. And buy any of his five albums, especially his last three.

Late in the set, Ritter sneaked Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime” in after the second chorus of “Harrisburg.” This morning, I tried to find him doing it on YouTube. It’s not up there (yet), but I did discover that he’s got a history of working other songs into “Harrisburg.”

What follows is a complete roundup of all the Harrisburgs I could find:

1. Modest Mouse’s “Tiny Cities Made of Ashes”:

2. Solo version with Bruce Springteen’s “Highway Patrolman,” off Nebraska:

3. One with the bass player singing “Papa was a Rolling Stone”:

4. Another one with the bass player singing, this time Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Games”:

5. With a string band called Love Cannon, playing “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears:

6. Hank Williams, “Ramblin Man”:

7. Finally, as a palette-cleanser, here’s “The Curse” as performed by marionettes:

Thanks for participating in my web-scouring.

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