Hello and welcome to Jenny Ritter's website!
"I realized that this was the kind of music that a lot more people needed to hear about. It's got that special spark of life that makes a song come alive, the very rare spark that so many singer-songwriters are questing for, and so few really have." Devon Leger, No Depression
"…thanks to her tremendous songwriting, her ability to write beautiful catchy melodies, and those gorgeous vocals, she is already head and shoulders above the pack. A tremendous album by a hugely talented lady!" - Americana Roots UK
"She's out on her own and making waves - rather nice." Iain Anderson, BBC Radio Scotland
"Quality and accomplished - an artist who is surely due to reach a wider audience" - Simon Beards, Maverick magazine (UK)
Jenny Ritter's songs are aimed straight at the heart. While Bright Mainland is technically her debut solo album, it represents the culmination of many years spent deeply involved in music. Her childhood was spent steeped in music and dance, with a ballerina mother, and opera singer father. They lived deep in the woods of Vancouver Island, and when not ranging through the forest with big dogs, Jenny usually had her nose in a book. After high school, she hit the road with bands on tour across Canada and the US, and basically never came back. First playing accordion for the band Nicely, Nicely and then as guitarist and one of the main songwriters for the critically acclaimed roots country band The Gruff.
In ten years, the Gruff made four albums, went on dozens of tours and played at bakers dozens of festivals. They easily won devotees wherever they went, but eventually the quartet parted ways. After a move to the mainland, she began to dig in and take a real love of Vancouver into her own hands. She formed the Kingsgate Chorus, a rock n' roll cover choir; she formed the scandinavian trad trio Marmota; she sang on friends' albums; and then she had to start a second choir when her first one got out of hand.
Eventually all this led Ritter back to her own songs, and she found that her post-Gruff journey had delivered to her brain an album's worth of material that felt like it belonged together. She enlisted longtime friend Adrian Dolan (the Bills) to produce the record and put together a crack band including Lucas Goetz (the Deep Dark Woods) on drums and pedal steel. The recording took place on Mayne Island, BC and also features other musical friends including David Newberry, Ryan Boeur (Fish & Bird), Meg Iredale (O'Mally), as well as members of Marmota and the Kingsgate Chorus.
The songs come across like a reminder of the beautiful things in life. While definitely personal, it also paints a picture of the vibrant community Jenny is a part of. The songs are about the little things that make her tick; folk dancing , group singing, biking around Vancouver at night with friends, and the deep wisdom of fortune cookies - they reveal the magic in the real experiences of a versatile human living in the city. They are mercilessly catchy, and you'll be glad to have these life affirming tunes rattling around your brain.
When not playing her own music, Jenny freelances on guitar with a variety of West Coast fiddlers, including Daniel Lapp, Adrian Dolan, Zav RT, and Mairi Rankin. Her rhythmic and energized accompaniment is in high demand, and she revels in the Irish and Canadian fiddle styles. She also singlehandedly directs and arranges music for two renowned and successful rock n roll choirs in Vancouver, The Kingsgate Chorus and the Mount Pleasant Regional Institute of Sound.
Since returning to touring life, Jenny has re-entered the Canadian festival circuit and has already brought her new album to successful shows in the U.S. and Scandinavia. She's excited to bring Bright Mainland to any city in the world that's not averse to an indie-folk sing-along.