Jodi Ritter
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Jodi Ritter


Band Folk Acoustic


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"fRoots - Granary Girls - Wild Roses"

"Second album from the Minnesota-based duo, Patty Kakac and Jodi Ritter. Self-composed tunes as well as Tim Harrison's Down To The River and Billy Ed Wheeler's Coal Tattoo. Loads of fiddle, banjo and acoustic guitar underpin these finely obseverd, traditionally-flavoured songs of social conscience, love and prairie life".
- fRoots - #256 (October 2004)

"Sing Out - THE GRANARY GIRLS. Wild Roses"

(Good Grains Music 2830). This Minnesota-based duo draws from traditional folk influences, offering sweet original tunes like the sprightly "Travelin" and "I Wanted to Be a Cowboy." There are some covers here, too, like "Coal Tattoo, " featuring Tom May. All of the songs offer up a pleasant blending of vocals, guitar, Autoharp, bass, fiddle and more. - JA
- Sing Out - Fall 2004. vol. 48#3

"DIRTY LINEN - The Granary Girls"

The Granary Girls are a women's duo hailing from Minnesota who sing original tunes as well as thoughful covers (Tom Waits, Gillian Welch)...."The Briar and the Rose, " .. is effective and beautiful. (Feb-March, 2003)

- Dirty Linen - Feb-March, 2003

"Oak Center Folk Forum"

"What made the Granary Girls performance here so special was not only their richly blended harmonies and upbeat stage presence, but the high quality of the material they offer as well as their brilliant song writing that lends itself to a far deeper level of musical enjoyment than what is on the surface. Sweet and haunting to our emotional core with a message that left us feeling more connected to each other and this big Earth are the phenomonal Granary Girls. Let us listen to them again and again and again for they go above and beyond the singer/songwriter trend to a new level of duo magic. "
- Oak Center Folk Forum

""Kevin's Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews""

It has to be a bit daunting, with the no-carb craze currently in vogue, to be a pairing called The Granary Girls. But Patty Kakac and Jodi Ritter have forged ahead anyway with their latest release, "Wild Roses," an offering that both explores and epitomizes the heart and soul of the Midwest.

Based in Minnesota, this duo has produced what could be described as a 'Prairie Home Companion' companion piece, full of mood and place-provoking music about good, hard-working, compassionate people grounded by the land they inhabit.

The title song, "Wild Roses," is the opening cut. Elevated by Kakac's and Ritter's engaging harmony singing, this love song compares and contrasts the roots of said plant with those of the human kind--roots that allow both to inhabit a sometimes inhospitable environment..........

With a variety of guitar, autoharp, fiddle, harmonica and banjo backing, this is an earnest release aimed at the heart, with straightforward tales about the dignity and satisfaction to be found in simple living and living simply.

- Kevin McCarthy, 7/04

"Waterbug Records"

"The Granary Girls are a traditionally-based folk duo, deep in prairie roots and social conscience. Their Sound harkens back to the easy pace of earlier times- The Carter Family, folk songs around the fire. "Wild Roses" is a sharper, better recorded program then their first effort, "Sowing Seeds," creating a sweeping feeling of a connected musical suite, of a long hard valuable day's journey into sunset. Rachel Nelson's work on fiddle and banjo is a sparkling addition to these women's' enduring message: at the end of the day, it is still and always love that gives life meaning."

Sowing Seeds
The Granary Girls' 2001 debut album, Sowing Seeds, is an engaging mix of the political, the personal, and simple pleasures. Accompanied by a host of friends playing everything from banjo to tamboura, Patty Kakac and Jodi Ritter sing stories and parables to make sense of the world we live in. Opening with a cover of Tom Waits' lovely and mysterious "The Briar and the Rose," the album moves through eleven songs by Kakac and Ritter, as well as Gillian Welch's "Caleb Meyer" and the traditional "Banks of the Ohio". This last is a novel setting of a familiar piece, taken slow and steady to let the story come through. Kakac's songs include "Morning Glory Waltz", a traditional-sounding tune with new words about loss of a loved one and "Misfit", a song about feeling out of place. Ritter's "Border Song" is a moving story of a lover lost to war, and her tribute to her cat, "Little Star" features a fine and original melody. The two come together to write three songs, "Full Moon and Jupiter", "Glendalough", and a charming barnyard romp about a rooster named "Randy".

- Andrew Calhoun

"The Bothy Folk Club - Mankato MN"

The Granary Girls are a duo from rural Minnesota who bring their political, social, and spiritual ideals to life through song and banter. The exuberance and joy that surrounds them is infectious and you will feel great after an evening spent with these two women!

"This harmony singing is the stuff of angels, with an attitude. Their CD is great fun to listen to."
- The Bothy Folk Club

"Country livin': Granary Girls come together"

By Lucien Holmes
You have to live the music to play the music. The Granary Girls, a duo from the Ashby-Dalton area, are doing just that. Their songs, which reflect on a more common and simple life, are a tribute to the spirit with which they live their lives.

Patty Kakac, a former member of the Pinetones, met Jodi Ritter in 1997 and a short time later, Ritter was spending the winter in the outbuilding on Kakac's farm. The building, which used to be used for grain storage, helped give the women their name.

"Patty was working with a playwright in Barrett," said Ritter. "We were bringing the AIDS quilt, the NAMES project to the area."

Ritter, originally from North Dakota, was working at a crisis center in Alexandria when the dream began to come true. She began to learn some chords on the guitar.

"That's when I decided I wanted to sing instead of pushing paperwork."

Today, they play music full time, supplementing their concert schedule with residencies at schools. Saturday, in Melby (beyond Road 82 just past Lake Christina), the Granary Girls will celebrate their second CD release with a foot-stomping show at the township hall followed by a night of camping, cheesecake, and music on the Kakac farm.

It wasn't always this perfect.

"I had been working at the crisis center," Ritter said gamely. "I got fired because of my big mouth."

That big mouth has been singing the alto to Kakac's soprano ever since. Though they're not above the occasional odd jobs, the Girls find it increasingly possible to make a living playing music, especially given the friends they've made along the way.

The Minneapolis studios of Minnesota Public Radio have twice had the girls on the air on the morning show, publicity which is invaluable.

Ritter is not a trained musician, but her ear has helped her learn at attitude-driven doghouse bass and soulful fingerstyle guitar. Her family history didn't hurt, either.

"Dad toured with gospel group, mom cut a record in San Francisco before she met him," she said. "I had lots of training in religious music."

Her enthusiastic style complements Kakac to the point where a fan once pointed out that they're sort of like the Smothers Sisters, a nod to the comic geniuses Tom and Dick Smothers.

"'There's the serious one and the stupid one,'" Ritter laughed, quoting the fan and making a goofy face.

But for as much fun as they have, the Granary Girls are devoted to promoting peace and social justice, to the point where they work in schools, helping youth localize global issues.

The folk guitarist Larry Long began a project called "Elders' Wisdom, Children's Song." The residencies, as the name implies, take the venerable stories of community members and put them into the kids' mouths.

It was such a collaboration that yielded the beautiful song "I Wanted to Be a Cowboy," a tender ballad of small-town place on their new album, "Wild Roses."

Many of their songs, including "Travelin'," are co-written in the truest of senses: autobiographical. Their kinship is not hard to recognize when you see them play. They have their own sides of the stage, like a married couple might a bed.

"We have our days," said a smiling Kakac, "but mostly we can't remember what we were fighting about."

"We're not in counseling," put in Ritter.

They don't need counseling; they are counseling. Their tight harmonies and great dynamics can soothe even the most restless soul. Even the few songs they play that they didn't write are artfully arranged.

"I've never worked this hard at any job," said the ever-irreverent Ritter. "It does take a lot of time: the Web site, the promotion, the mailings, making contacts. And then even if you do, it's hard to get people to take you seriously. Being women, being older - when you think about the stereotypes that we're fed, 'young is beautiful,' it presents its own set of challenges."

Add to that the fact that the Girls don't play covers or Top 40 and that they play acoustic instruments, it's almost certainly an uphill climb.

Despite all that, and due in no small part to hard work and dedication, they have shared bills with the folksingers Bill Staines and Christine Lavin and played everywhere from the University of Minnesota - Crookston to the primitive camping Rendezvous.

"Performing, the stage - do I like it? I love it," said Ritter. "It's more of a lifestyle than a job."
- Fergus Falls Daily Journal

"The Granary Girls - Wild Roses"

[Good Grains Music 2830 (2004)]
Warm and homey, Wild Roses by the Granary Girls is a throwback to earlier times. Rural Minnesotans Patty Kakac & Jodi Ritter's forte is the prairies, campfires, wheat fields and open spaces. Of course, add the occasional harmonica/fiddle break for authenticity.... - Dirty Linen - oct/nov 04 #114

"Top Albums and Songs of 2004 (Part II)"

January 4, 2005
The Granary Girls latest CD "Wild Roses" named on the Folk & Bluegrass DJ list for Top Albums and Songs of 2004
- FolkDJ list - Folk and Bluegrass DJs


LP - Wild Roses - Granary Girls - 2004 - all tracks receiving national and some international air play
LP Live Recorded - Peace Weaving - Limited 2003
LP Live Recorded - GG Kids - Limited 2003
LP - Sowing Seeds - Granary Girls - 2001 -
Wild Roses & Sowing Seeds available on I-Tunes

Studio Recording - Salmagundi Studies, Steve McKinstry, Engineer



Jodi Ritter is known for lyrics that touch people in ways they don't expect. In true folk tradition her music & personality has a strong influence on her audience.

There's never a dull moment! Switching from upbeat rocking bluesy songs to celtic ballads, from pointed songs that beg consciousness of the issues at hand to subtle tugs of the heartstrings, Jodi's beautiful voice, lyrics & witty banter leaves audiences full: "Your songs make people cry" - fan, Mike Zies.

Jodi Ritter's mom sat her down for singing lessons as soon as she was talking and it's been music and harmony ever since. In 1998 she formed a folk duo, The Granary Girls, with with another Minnesota songwriter. It was a great 9 years.

Jodi's music music made it to Rich Warren's “Midnight Special Pic of the Week” and Christine Lavins Rouge Gallery. Her song, Wild Roses was selected for visual artistic renditions.

Jodi now performs solo for concert venues, conferences, festivals, private gatherings, house concerts, churches & organizations.

Jodi's vocal's talent runs from melodious and sweet, such as Joan Baez, to deep and bluesy with a little bit of Janis or Mahalia thrown in for fun.. it just depends. A long time musician, Jodi's songs combine professional and personal experience tied up with strong voice and instrumentation. She writes, sings, plays upright bass, guitar, percussion & penny whistles.

While with the Granary Girls, Jodi's music received great reviews (see press) in fRoots, SingOut & Dirty Linen

Jodi is proud of her commitment to communities and teaches collective song writing workshops and school residencies. The collective song writing topics vary and songs are and can be about any topic.

May you know the depths of your soul, light and laughter through Jodi's music.