The follow-up to 2017's loose and versatile Gathering, Fever Breaks sees the lauded Idaho-bred singer/songwriter teaming up with producer and Americana wunderkind Jason Isbell and delivering a taut ten-track set backed by Isbell and his formidable 400 Unit. Less prone to stylistic detours than previous outings, Fever Breaks is a straight-up band album, with Ritter and company administering some serious muscle on cuts like "Old Black Magic" and "Losing Battles," the latter of which gives off a distinct Crazy Horse vibe. Dylanesque opener "Ground Don't Want Me" takes a similar approach, but retains a modicum of heartland folksiness, bringing it more in line with Ritter's earlier works.
This is the tenth album from prolific American folk/roots songsmith Josh Ritter. His recent albums have been a touch uneven, or even a little disappointing, but he shakes things up here by recruiting good friend Jason Isbell as producer, and incorporating Isbell's band the 400 Unit to back him up.
Ritter has always surrounded himself with A-list players, and the 400 Unit certainly fit that category. A range of guitar tones, tempos and keyboard fills are employed judiciously, and Amanda Shires' fiddle playing at times evokes that of ….