Joseph Arthur w/ Jesse Harris- Residency
May 26, 2012 08:00 PM - 10:30 PM
ABOUT JOSEPH ARTHUR
If there's such a thing as the opposite of writer's block, Joseph Arthur has it. The Akron, Ohio-bred/Brooklyn, N.Y.-residing singer/songwriter, who once released four EPs in the span of as many months, has demonstrated his unwavering proclivity yet again with the digital release of Redemption City, a 24-song dual download that Arthur is giving away for FREE at www.josepharthur.com.
Growing up in the '70s and '80s in Akron, Arthur’s musical life started off like many others, with mandatory piano lessons. But once he realized he could use the piano to conjure up his own musical worlds, he took to the instrument and began writing songs, eventually playing in bands while in high school. Days after graduation, he moved to Atlanta with a band, playing bass and supporting himself with day jobs at a music store and tattoo shop. At the time, Arthur aspired to be a world-class jazz or fusion bass player in the vein of the late Jaco Pastorius. But when a demo tape of Arthur’s songs somehow made its way to Peter Gabriel and his Real World Records label, “I came to find out that Peter thought the bass playing was weak on my stuff, but what he liked was the lyrics.”
Next thing Arthur knew, he was playing at Gabriel’s WOMAD festival (despite having played solo acoustic “maybe one time before”), jamming with Gabriel and Joe Strummer in Real World studios in Bath, England, and was subsequently signed to Real World Records. “It was crazy,” Arthur says. “I think I like repeating the story more the older I get.” And while Arthur's 1997 debut, Big City Secrets, attracted a substantial following abroad, the artist didn't connect with Stateside listeners until Come To Where I'm From, which features his signature song, 'In the Sun'. That track was covered by R.E.M.'s Stipe and Coldplay's Chris Martin in 2006 on a charity single to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina, having previously been recorded a decade earlier by Gabriel for a Princess Diana tribute album.
Redemption City comes fresh off the heels of 2011's The Graduation Ceremony, which saw Arthur team with producer John Alagia, at whose Village Studio Fistful of Mercy (within which Arthur plays alongside Ben Harper and Dhani Harrison) had played its first public gig in 2010. Alagia had previously produced 'You're So True', Arthur's 2004 contribution to the Shrek 2 soundtrack.
Previously nominated for a best recording package Grammy for his 1999 EP Vacancy, Arthur is an accomplished painter, having displayed his works in galleries around the world. His online-only “Museum of Modern Arthur” (www.museumofmodernarthur.com) serves as a repository for his creations.
ABOUT JESSE HARRIS
Although best known for having written and played guitar on Norah Jones’ breakout hit “Don’t Know Why” (for which he won the Grammy Award for Song Of The Year), Jesse Harris is an accomplished producer and solo artist in his own right. He has released 10 albums, including his latest releases “Through The Night” and “Cosmo” (an all-instrumental recording) and has toured worldwide. His songs have been covered by numerous great singers, such as Smokey Robinson, Willie Nelson, Cat Power, Solomon Burke, Emmylou Harris, and many others.
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