Class Song: Josh Ritter’s “Wolves”

Posted on Updated on

In class over the next few days, to build on our initial knowledge of D major and E minor, we’ll be playing Josh Ritter‘s song “Wolves,” from his stellar fourth album, Animal Years.

In what could be called an AAA song structure, Ritter uses the repeating patter of D / D / Em / G (although he seems to play live with a capo on the second fret) to build a galloping country anthem along the riff:


The above riff, and this complete tab are courtesy of & the work of Matt Rowly.

As we go about learning the song, and potentially adding other instruments in class or asynchronously to the mix, we’ll be sharing recordings so that our open online participants can get to know the song, and benefit from our shared rhythm and momentum remotely.

Chords & Lyrics for Josh Ritter’s “Wolves” 


6 thoughts on “Class Song: Josh Ritter’s “Wolves”

    ColinJagoe said:
    February 6, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Great tune, I’ve not heard much by him. Worth looking into by the sounds of it.

      bryanjack said:
      February 6, 2013 at 8:19 pm

      He has *tons* of great acoustic stuff – he starts getting into the band sound around Animal Years, but it’s still really good. Got to sit in on one of his soundchecks in Vancouver a couple of years ago and shout my favourite songs at him and his guys for half an hour, really gracious dude.

    […] For your practice and recording pleasures, here is a bassline for this week’s class song, Josh Ritter’s “Wolves.“ […]

    […] practiced a while with the bass riff, but couldn’t get that driving beat from the video out of my skull, so I thought I’d try to speed it up. To record this, I played a guitar part […]

    girlinthegloaming said:
    May 29, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Love this jubilant, mysterious song! Do you all sing, too? In a previous blog post I went line by line through the lyrics and ended up wondering, Are the wolves coming to kill . . . or to claim him?

    My post:

    The album The Animals Years is a masterpiece. If you’ve wondered about Katy in Monster Ballads, I’ve got a theory on that too:


    […] Beginning with the same chords, we find ourselves in a similar situation to last year: […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s