Gig Alerts of the Battling Joshes: Josh Ritter at the Granada, Josh Charles at Poor David's Pub and Josh Golden at House of Blues

The odd confluence of national touring schedules has provided three guys named Josh playing on the same night, albeit on opposite sides of town.

The kicker is that all three make music worth recommending.

Josh Ritter is the biggest name of the three as the singer/songwriter originally from Idaho has released seven albums and seven EPs of Dylan-influenced folk/rock. Ritter may be a bit too literate for his own good, though; his most recent effort, So Runs the World Away, got its title from Shakespeare's Hamlet. It's not all bad: Ritter's songs are filled fairly simple (but not simplistic) observations that come across like a younger, American version of Leonard Cohen. Catch him tonight at the Granada.

Meanwhile, Josh Charles, a singer/songwriter from New Orleans, recently released his debut album Love, Work, Money and the accolades have rained forth from such unexpected sources as The Huffington Post. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Charles musical mentor is none other than the legendary Dr. John. Like the Doctor, Charles' style is funky blues/gospel that centers on the piano. Check out Charles' fine take on Jimmy Cliff's "The Harder They Come" for a wonderful mix of Louisiana and Jamaica. Then listen to it live tonight at Poor David's Pub.

Last of the Josh bunch is Josh Golden. And while he may only be 14 years old, let's all take a breath and remember that Stevie Wonder was all of 11 when he first signed a record contract--so good music can come from younger voices. Unfortunately, that's where Golden's comparisons with Wonder end. Rather, power pop mixed in with a bit of emo is Golden's game--and he's pretty damn good at it. Sure, he's way too pretty, but the kid has managed to stay connected to his religious roots while entering the dog-eat-dog world of pop music. Golden's songs such as "Small Town, Big City" and "I Fall Down" show a level of sophistication far beyond most teenagers. See if he's the next Bieber tonight at the House of Blues.

Or just pick a Josh at random and hope for the best.

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Darryl Smyers
Contact: Darryl Smyers