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Joseph Arthur

Ohio native Joseph Arthur was discovered by Peter Gabriel, who signed the folk-rock songwriter to Real World Records in the mid-'90s. Arthur's debut, Big City Secrets, was released in 1997 and went fairly unnoticed, despite an eclectic, brooding sound influenced by the likes of Leonard Cohen, Joe Henry, and the late Jeff Buckley. Gabriel influenced Arthur's music, too, exposing his songwriting to a global palette, roping him into Gabriel's annual WOMAD shows, and giving him a roster of fellow labelmates -- including Ben Harper and Gomez -- to tour with during the decade's latter half. Arthur steadily earned an audience of his own, attracting some attention for his work as a visual artist as well.

In 1999, Arthur released the seven-song EP Vacancy and received a Grammy nomination for Best Recording Package, thanks to the hand-folded design by art director Zachary Larner. The sophomore effort Come to Where I'm From appeared one year later, featuring production from alt-country icon T-Bone Burnett and distribution by Virgin Records. The album showed Arthur's musical fondness for basic country-rock and Americana, and he spent the rest of 2000 headlining club shows across North America and serving as an opening act for the The. Two years later, Arthur issued the four-EP series Junkyard Hearts, a precursor to his third opus, Redemption's Son. North American dates with Tracy Chapman followed in summer 2003, then one year later the critically acclaimed Our Shadows Will Remain appeared.

After starting his own label, Lonely Astronaut (distributed by Sony), Arthur published a collection of his artwork entitled We Almost Made It, complete with a mostly instrumental accompaniment, The Invisible Parade, during the spring of 2006. A few months later, fans were greeted with his fifth record, Nuclear Daydream, as well as a tour that featured Arthur with a full live band, something he had never done before. Arthur also provided vocals for "Sublime," from the Twilight Singers' iTunes-only five-song EP A Stitch in Time. In April 2007, he partnered with his band once again to record Let's Just Be, the second album released on his own label.

The following year brought even more material, with Arthur releasing no less than four EPs during the first seven months of the year (Could We Survive, Crazy Rain, Vagabond Skies, Foreign Girls) and a full album, Temporary People, in September. In February 2010, Arthur teamed up with Dhani Harrison and Ben Harper to form Fistful of Mercy, a folk-rock trio whose debut album, As I Call You Down, was released later that year. The band toured off and on during 2010 and continued playing sporadic shows in 2011, but that didn't stop Arthur from furthering his solo career with The Graduation Ceremony, which appeared in May 2011. Early the following year, he self-released his next solo work, the double album Redemption City, as a digital download (the LP issue followed later that year). Ever ambitious -- as well as prolific -- Arthur focused on completing a confessional concept record he had envisioned over a decade earlier -- some of its songs had been in his live show that long. Without a label, he reached out to fans on the Pledge Music crowd-funding site and realized 170-percent of his goal. The end result was his "psychedelic soul" record, The Ballad of Boogie Christ which was released in June of 2013. The following year, Arthur released an all-acoustic tribute album of Lou Reed songs titled Lou. ~ MacKenzie Wilson, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Can't Exist (Single)

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Track List: Even Tho

Comments

horseluver11 3
Horrible song
I hate this sno
roger_d_adam s
This song is sorta catchy
deanealban
I think Honey and The Moon might be my current favorite song. It never fails to stop me in my tracks and gives me butterflies.
levi.leon
I've been a long time fan of Joseph since the late 90's. He has become my favorite artist of all time. Love everything he touches! Look out for his new project with Ben Harper and George Harrisons son, Dhani Harrison, called Fistful of Mercy. It is going to be an amazing album.
Discovered him at a REM concert - was amazing how he was able to use looping of chords to make a one man show like a full band. Then we heard him on the Shrek Soundtrack and were real impressed!
I discovered this artist quite by accident. He had a song in the oustanding but barely-notic e d movie Saved (Mandy Moore) back in 1999 or 2000. The song was called "In the Sun" and everyone who I have exposed this song to have loved it. Please find it on youtube or here - I think almost anyone can relate to it.
The song "The Real You" is horrible.. Sounds like wannabe Thom Yorke/Radioh e a d . Fail!

p.s. even the album art is a rip off of the radiohead style art.. hahaha
I don't get the value in deliberately creating something so grating and dissonant. I picked up his first record a few years ago b/c there was one tune that I liked. THAT one sounded just like Beck. About three plays later that CD was relegated to the junk pile, along w/all the other indie junk that seemed interesting for a a couple of minutes. This one is even worse. What a hack.
ohiojeff38
Great sound. I had never heard of this Artist but I'm from the same town. I love to see someone doing well who has shared the same geographic/c u l t u r a l influences. The old hometown connection I'm sure many of you can relate to.
jneusser
very dynamic singer and song writer--chec k out his new work--it is great!
bromide01
Sounds like Peter Gabriel just wanted a "grunge" artist on his label. He was probably hoping the guy would kill himself like Kurt Cobain.
Is the guy singing background vocals on King of The Pavement from MGMT?
Love this guy - didn't think it was possible but he's even better live than recorded... just saw 2 shows in nyc & hoboken and I highly recommend going to see him if you get the chance.
I just discovered this guy and I'm totally impressed. His songwriting is as amazing as his performing. There is a clip called In Ohio from his Shadows cd, I don't think it's even a minute long but it absolutely gives me chills.
john40187
how did Peter Gabriel let this guy through. Monotone, at best.
did't realise he had that much discogrsphie s ! ! ! Hmmm.......H E ' S AWESOME!!!!!

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