Start kind of in the middle, I'd say. The Animal Years
is probably the most highly-acclaimed of his records, so I'd start there. Epic songs--one of them (Thin Blue Flame) is 9:30+ and it's one of the few songs that long that can keep my attention throughout.
The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
was my gateway album. It's a lot fuller of a sound than The Animal Years
, less stripped down. The new one (So Runs the World Away
) is about midway between the two albums in terms of tempo and style.
There were 3 albums before The Animal Years
that I recommend checking out as well.