JACKSON, Wyo. \u2014 \u201cI\u2019d rather be the one that loves than to be loved and never even know,\u201d sings Josh Ritter on \u201cSnow is Gone\u201d from his 2003 album Hello Starling. When it comes to distinguished folk songwriters of an era, Ritter certainly comes to mind in the company of Jason Isbell, Jeff Tweedy and Hayes Carll with regards to writing unforgettable lyrics. Ritter will take the stage solo this Friday at the Center Theater.\r\n\r\nEarlier this year Ritter released Fever Breaks, his tenth studio album. It was produced by Isbell at RCA Studios in Nashville with Isbell\u2019s band The 400 Unit supporting the songs. The collaboration was sparked after touring together and growing closer on a personal level. And though Ritter has long toured his longtime band mates of The Royal City Band, solo sets have a purpose and breath beyond the groove of a rock show.\r\n\r\n\u201cPart of playing solo is establishing this direct line of energy between you and the audience, and when its working well it\u2019s just a beautiful feeling,\u201d Ritter said from his Brooklyn home, an evening after performing with Isbell and Steve Earle. \u201cYou try to bring that into the rock show but there\u2019s also the energy that you\u2019re sharing with the band. Solo shows have the chance to be more directed and I suppose that\u2019s what intimacy is. We play a wide range of dynamics as a band, but there are some moments that only really work best when they are solo. You can also communicate with the audience in a different way and be a tiny bit more agile.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cAnother New World\u201d from his album So Runs the World Away is one such song. The tune has a long narrative through line with a big, adventurous story that benefits from the patient and focused development. The latter scenario also demands acute attention from the audience.\r\n\r\nRitter grew up in Moscow, Idaho, and is notably a prolific writer that was named to Paste Magazine\u2019s 100 Best Living Songwriters list back in 2006. Since then, Ritter has released several albums as well as a novel, Bright\u2019s Passage, and co-wrote with Bob Weir for Weir\u2019s 2016 album of original cowboy songs, Blue Mountain. Ritter later tapped Weir to sing on the studio version of his song \u201cWhen Will I Be Changed.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cWriting with Bob [Weir] was a beautiful experience,\u201d Ritter remembered. \u201cI found that the places he wanted to borough into were not the things that I expected. That was so cool, and I started realizing that co-writing is like growing a rose bush and looking at each separate flower and see what it does. Trying to grow something that\u2019s uniquely everyone\u2019s vision. Bob expanded by view of what a writer is in that situation and created platforms for other collaborators can do what they do best.\u201d\r\n\r\nRitter is currently in between album cycles and performing more solo dates, a tour he has dubbed \u201cA Book of Gold Thrown Open Tour.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019ve been writing a lot of story songs lately,\u201d Ritter shared about his current writing mindset. \u201cIt\u2019s a cool period of time because I\u2019m not writing for an album, and the songs have their own separate identities. It\u2019s a cool time, a very fertile moment."\r\n\r\n\u201cI really do believe that songs are frameworks\u2014they\u2019re like a coat hook, you hang everything else on them.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe Center for the Arts presents Josh Ritter, 7 p.m. Friday at the Center Theater. $48-$68. JHCenterForTheArts.org.