Live: Log Cabin Croons Courtesy of Josh Ritter.

As a measly drizzle splatters the pavements beyond the Barbican Centre's feet-deep concrete walls, within its post-modern main Hall bunker, Idaho troubadour Josh Ritter, accompanied by the overtly able Royal City Band translate dusty mid-western songs of solitude that seemingly couldn't be further from home were they stuffed in the back of a Nascar making tracks over the dunes of the Sahara. With songs dedicated to his beloved mustache and excessive proclamations of adoration from every darkened nook and cranny of the auditorium, Ritter tonight concludes extensive touring of his fifth and questionably greatest record to date, So Runs the World Away, a record that intertwines his apt gift for pinning down sumptuous harmonies revolving around lapsteel guitars and double basses with his typically dark lyrical hue, patching together an altogether renovated take on Americana.

Amidst an endless slew of San Miguel bottlenecks scattered throughout the Barbican concourse, it's the chap from the land of the redneck that's perhaps the most intoxicating tonight, opening with a rendition of Idaho so concise imaginations run riot, sprinting to thoughts of drive-thru cinemas, Huckleberry shakes and potato fields. An initially apprehensive audience is soon swooning to the lupine howls of Wolves, as Ritter falls to his knees to bark at the balconies lurching ominously over the stalls below, and the rambunctious refrain of "singing without knowing the words" couldn't be further from reality tonight. Ritter exudes an exuberance that's incontrollable throughout, leaping about gayly on the soles of his worn and torn, roughed and tumbled desert boots as he sings of Kenny Rodgers and the scarcity of handjobs in heaven on new cut Sir Galahad, an inventive, if slightly cloying take on the new romantic folk song that borders on standup. With the benefit of hindsight and a lyric sheet, it's perhaps advisable Ritter sticks to the evening job of enthralling forever growing throngs well outside the daydream realms of his humble middle-of-nowhere beginnings; Folk Bloodbath sucks a macabre humour from the ambiguous mystery of British folk songs telling of mortality, Harrisburg skips away from Ritter's Gibson acoustic into a warped cover of the timeless opening verse of Talking Heads' Once In A Lifetime, and In The Dark, tonight performed rather premeditatedly in the shadows, is once more transportive as the power igniting every filament is cut, barring the green hue emanated from a myriad of emergency exit signs. Rumors and To The Dogs Or Whoever are amongst minimal numbers lifted from the regality of the sublime The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter, although it's at his most American, his most earnest and perhaps most schmaltzy that Ritter is most captivating, as on the illuminative Lantern, the knackered drawl of 500 Miles, or the self-righteous Good Man. At over two hours though, Ritter's log cabin crooning is occasionally both exhausting and exhausted, with tonight being his final show in "quite some time", an almost baptismal ambience imbued by Wait For Love invokes a choral climax from the tongues of previously innocuous bystanders-turned-baritones in a denouement that's as cleansing as an elongated dunk in the Snake River.