Natural History of Los Angeles County Season 1 | Episode 11

At first glance, Josh Ritter’s Artists Den performance might have taken place in his native Idaho, against a landscape of rolling green hills and grazing bison. The enormous animals behind the band were, however, stuffed: the show’s venue was actually in the North American Mammal Hall of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, in the spirit of Ritter’s album, The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter (Sony BMG/Victor). Surrounded by grizzly bears and wolves, hundreds of die-hard fans packed the diorama-filled hall as Ritter delivered a full-on rock concert – complete with a 5-piece horn section – that kept the room dancing all night.


Born in Idaho, singer-songwriter Josh Ritter recorded and released his self-titled debut in 1999 after graduating from Oberlin College with a self-created “American History through Narrative Folk Music” major. His albums have been praised for their beautifully spare songwriting, textured with complex imagery and simple lyrics, which has drawn comparisons to Bob Dylan, Nick Drake, and Leonard Cohen. Ritter’s major label debut and first outright rock & roll endeavor, The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter (Sony BMG/Victor), was declared by Amazon to be “the best album of 2007, hands down, by the most under-accorded American musical genius.”

To learn more about Josh, visit


The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) is a crown jewel of Los Angeles’ museums. A national leader in exhibitions, education, and research, the Museum is LA’s second-oldest cultural institution, having opened its doors in 1913. The Museum’s hallmark, “the Dueling Dinosaurs,” – complete skeletons of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops posed in battle – greet you as you enter one of the world’s most extensive and valuable collections of natural and cultural history. As the largest natural and historical museum in the Western United States and an active research center, NHM safeguards more than 35 million spectacular, diverse specimens and artifacts covering 4.5 billion years of history.