Posts tagged ‘Joseph Arthur’
Multi-talented artist and New Yorker Joseph Arthur is paying tribute to dear friend and musical legend Lou Reed with a record of covers, which begins with one of the songs most associated with the singer who died in 2013, “Walk On the Wild Side”. In the album sleeve, Arthur mentions the difficulty of trying to figure out how to best remember and honor his friend without trivializing his death: “It’s odd dancing around death, odder still if the death you are dancing around is that of a legend. You just never know what’s appropriate and what’s not, what to share and what to keep inside. There is no blueprint. I loved Lou and we were friends. The last thing I would want to do is turn his life into an opportunity, but at the same time, what better way to honor the man and his music than to celebrate it and sing it and record it?” The album will be released on May 13th and marks Arthur’s debut on Vanguard Records. – David D. Robbins Jr.
Joseph Arthur’s music has never been more relevant than it is now. You might say the single, “Travel As Equals”, off the resplendent 24-song double-disc “Redemption City”, is the clarion call for the new record. It would be presumptuous of me to try to completely nail down this song’s meaning or message, stripping it of its wingéd beauty, because music is often such a solitary, personal thing. But one thing is certain, you may listen to this song in the cloistered confines of your bedroom, but it’s meant to unify people.
David D. Robbins Jr. | Their Bated Breath
Joseph Arthur “Redemption City” (2012)
Two-disc set available here
Singer-songwriter and painter Joseph Arthur’s newest record “Redemption City” is one of the biggest, more ambitious wonders of the new year. It’s an epic record, addressing the state of things in America and in Arthur’s mind. It canvasses the meaning of human interconnection and that feeling like something isn’t right with the world. But it’s also a record about finding solace, restoration and transcendence. “Redemption City”, even in the title itself, suggests a pouring out of passions, dreams, desires, and hopeful notions of something better around the corner. It’s a sprawling two-disc, 24-song record (divided into 12 songs each). Arthur unfairly is sometimes categorized as a far-reaching musician. Too esoteric. Too pseudo. Too keen on personal idiosyncrasy. In truth, in a day and age where idiocy is mistaken for populism, and intelligence makes one ‘suspect’, he’s more or less a victim of the times. But his tight-knit core of fans is devout, and with good reason. The value of his vision and voice speaks for itself on the new record. On the opener “Travel as Equals”, Arthur sings in prophetic verse about how to survive in a world of division and chaos: “In the dark of graveyard chatter / In the light of freedom’s call / In the heat of any matter / We travel as equals or not at all / Bloom disgust, class divide / I saw it written on the wall / The only way we can survive, we travel as equals or not at all.”
Singer-songwriter and painter Joseph Arthur sent out a previously unreleased cover version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” in an e-mail to to his subscribed fans. It’s a pretty take, especially well-timed for the holidays. Sorry, no posting the song for download, but you can listen to it below. Also, be on the lookout for a new video for “Over the Sun”, the ninth in an ongoing series from 2011′s “The Graduation Ceremony”. The video was completed on a custom made iphone rig, and you can see a making of the video here on YouTube. Note: Photo comes from artist’s facebook page, and was taken this year by Myriam Santos. – David D. Robbins Jr.
What a surprise, eh? Preview each new track off Joseph Arthur’s first solo record in 5 years, “The Graduation Ceremony”. It’s officially out on May 24. Visit his website here. – David D. Robbins Jr.
ON TOUR: Musician Joseph Arthur performs “Can’t Exit”, a track off the 2004 album “Our Shadows Will Remain”, at Bluebird Cafe in Nashville,Tennessee on Feb. 9, 2010. It’s a must watch for Arthur fans. The setting is warm and intimate, with Arthur looking the disheveled John Lennon. Wait for the 5:24 mark where Arthur goes no-holds-barred on a sweet guitar riff — looped chorus and woodblock going off in the background. Lovely stuff.