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Joseph Arthur

Genre:Ethnic/Folk, Industrial, Techno, Alternative, Indie

Most Popular Songs (more)

1In Ohio lyrics
Joseph Arthur
2In The Middle Of The Night lyrics
Joseph Arthur
3Voices Will Fight lyrics
Joseph Arthur
4Be My Friend lyrics
Joseph Arthur
5Don't Give Up On People lyrics
Joseph Arthur
6Glass Pipe lyrics
Joseph Arthur
7Speed Of Light lyrics
Joseph Arthur
8Birthday Card lyrics
Joseph Arthur
9Queen Of Brooklyn lyrics
Joseph Arthur
10Echo Park lyrics
Joseph Arthur feat. The Prague Philharmonic Orchestra

Most Popular Albums (more)

1Redemption's Son
Joseph Arthur
2Cut & Blind
Joseph Arthur
3Junkyard Hearts
Joseph Arthur
4Redemption's Son
Joseph Arthur
5Big City Secrets
Joseph Arthur
6Come To Where I'm From
Joseph Arthur
7Junkyard Hearts
Joseph Arthur
Joseph Arthur
9Are You With Us?
Joseph Arthur
10Rusty Water
Joseph Arthur


Joseph Arthur (born September 28, 1971) is a contemporary singer-songwriter from Akron, Ohio. He was discovered by Peter Gabriel in the mid-'90s, and signed to Gabriel's Real World label.

Joseph began writing and playing music in his early teens, after inheriting an electronic keyboard from his aunt: "I couldn't play along with my records, so that's why I started writing my own. The keyboard had a sequencer so I started writing these little electronic music things. I thought I was a genius, and I would play them for my mom. And she'd be like, 'It sounds like Chinese music,' and it would crush me. I wanted her to say, 'That's the most genius thing I've ever heard.'"At age 16, he played bass in a blues band called Frankie Starr and the Chill Factor, which disbanded by 1991.

In the early '90s, Joseph Arthur was recording home demos, playing local Atlanta clubs and working as a guitar salesman at Clark Music Store.

Harvey Schwartz, Peter Gabriel's A&R associate, was presenting Gabriel new artists at his apartment in New York City, with one of the demo tapes being Joseph's first EP Cut and Blind. Gabriel found the songwriter a great fit for his label Real World Records, and Joseph was offered a record deal. Both Gabriel and Schwartz arranged a live audition at the Fez in NYC, where Arthur flew up from Atlanta. The night was clearly a success--not only was Lou Reed a guest in the audience, but within a few months Arthur was officially signed, making Joseph the first American recording artist signed to Gabriel's label. Recording for his debut album began at Gabriel's Real World Studios in England with producer Markus Dravs (experimental Björk engineer; co-producer of Coldplay's 2008 album Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends). The debut album Big City Secrets was released worldwide in Spring 1997, and Joseph joined Gabriel's WOMAD tour in Europe. Two years later, Joseph recorded a mini-album called Vacancy, which earned him a Grammy nomination in 2000 for best recording package.

April 2000 saw the release of Come to Where I'm From, the album that, for the first time, exposed him to a larger audience (also thanks to opening up for Ben Harper and Gomez). During the same period, a live album recorded at the Gypsy Tea Room in Dallas, Texas saw a promotional release. After releasing a series of 4 tour-only EPs called Junkyard Hearts, his third album, Redemption's Son, came out in May 2002 in the UK (and November 2002 in the US, after being dropped by EMI in North America).

In the middle of a long and successful tour during which performances were, to a large extent, recorded and sold immediately after the last note had been played, he found time to release one more album: an alternative rock project called Holding the Void (featuring Joseph on vocals and guitar, Pat Sansone on vocals and bass, and Rene Lopez on vocals and drums).

Summer 2003 saw him on tour with Tracy Chapman in the US. After signing a new recording contract with Vector Recordings, Arthur began recording his fourth official studio album, Our Shadows Will Remain.

" ...Arthur says, "I got totally wasted for a while in New Orleans, then I went to L.A. and was going further that way, and I called up my friends in New Orleans and said, 'I'm coming back and I have to straighten out and you have to help me.'" Staying sober, Arthur returned to his previous co-producer, Mike Napolitano, and his French Quarter apartment/studio to make a more streamlined fourth album. "I started working on my new record and it became obvious that Universal wasn't gonna sign me up again," says Arthur. "They finally let me go, but it was a struggle."
His travails made their way onto the masterful Our Shadows Will Remain. "The record is largely about finding out where I'm at now," says Arthur. "There was a lot of addiction and a lot of pain, and a lot of the songs are about that. When your life isn't working out, you dig deeper into what's going to satisfy you. If you become disillusioned, you start to get to the heart of the matter."
" "I can be really down and go to my guitar and write something, and it can elevate the situation," Arthur says. "That's such a wonderful gift. In and of itself, that's enough." "

Our Shadows Will Remain was released in October 2004. While touring the US alone and with Joan Wasser in promotion for the album, a new EP called And the Thieves Are Gone came out in December 2004. Shortly afterwards, Arthur went on a brief tour with R.E.M. throughout Europe.

Arthur spent 2005 again on tour in both the US and Europe. Arthur staged his first art exhibition in 2006 at the Vertigo Gallery in London from February 10 to February 12. He also contributed a design to the Yellow Bird Project for the benefit of Mercy Corps. Also in 2006, Joseph and longtime professional partner Lauren Pattenaude started his own record label, Lonely Astronaut Records. He released an artbook with accompanying instrumental CD in May 2006, titled The Invisible Parade (CD) & We Almost Made It (book). He simultaneously recorded his fifth official studio album Nuclear Daydream, and released the album as the first on his own label in September 2006. Following the new album, Joseph set out on a worldwide tour, the first to feature his new backing band The Lonely Astronauts.

His song "In the Sun" was covered by Michael Stipe of R.E.M. and Chris Martin of Coldplay in 2006 for a Hurricane Katrina Relief EP (available exclusively on iTunes). The EP includes 6 versions of the cover, one of which has Arthur himself singing with Stipe, and another remixed by Justin Timberlake. On March 26, 2007, 14th Floor Records (Joseph's label in the UK) released a re-recorded version of his 2002 song "Honey and the Moon" as a special single in the UK only. April 17, 2007 saw the US release of his sixth studio album, Let's Just Be, the first album recorded with his band The Lonely Astronauts. 16 of the reported 80 songs that he and the band recorded in late 2006 yielded the Let's Just Be album (though it is uncertain whether the remaining 64 songs will ever see the light of day or not). A US tour followed the album's release.

Joseph quickly started working on the follow-up to Let's Just Be. In January 2008, it was announced that Joseph would be releasing 4 brand new EPs and one new full-length album throughout 2008, beginning with Could We Survive on March 18; the second EP, titled Crazy Rain, released on April 15; the third, titled Vagabond Skies, released on June 10; and the fourth, titled Foreign Girls, on July 8. Joseph played seven solo shows during the SXSW 2008 Festival: six in Austin and one in Dallas. Live dates in Europe and an extensive US solo tour coincide with the new releases. Temporary People, his seventh studio album (and second with The Lonely Astronauts), is set for release on September 30, 2008.

Always one to stay prolific, the grand opening of Joseph's art gallery, The Museum of Modern Arthur, occurred in June 2007. Located at 25 Jay Street in Brooklyn's DUMBO District, MOMAR is an exhibition space for art and works created by Arthur himself. A July 2007 e-mail newsletter talks about the goals for MOMAR:

" MOMAR seeks to broaden the parameters of the fine art world by fostering a multi-disciplinary interaction among innovators in painting, music, poetry, performance and the visual arts.

MOMAR encourages innovation and challenges convention in art, but reveres the traditional artistic values of beauty, craft, spirituality and history.

MOMAR rejects the notion that art can be valued or devalued on a purely commercial level.

MOMAR seeks to create a new approach to art patronage that includes but extends beyond the conventions of financial support and criticism, and allows for nontraditional contributions to and from the community, including volunteering, charity work and education.

MOMAR is founded on the principle that art has a conscience, is relevant and can foment positive social change. MOMAR believes that artists are responsible for illuminating truth.

MOMAR answers the eternal question "What is art?" with another question: "What isn't?"

MOMAR encourages interaction between artists and audience, and partners at will with like-minded organizations.

MOMAR is finite. It is not an ongoing concern. Its building and its organization will disappear.

MOMAR can, and will, party.

Arthur's one man band live performances incorporate looping techniques and several distortion techniques. However, beginning with his fall 2006 tour, Arthur has incorporated a full band, The Lonely Astronauts.

The Lonely Astronauts are:

Joseph Arthur - vocals, guitar
Kraig Jarret Johnson - guitar, keyboards, vocals
Jennifer "Jen" Turner - guitar, vocals
Sibyl Buck - bass, vocals
Greg "G. Wiz" Wieczorek - drums, vocals
Arthur's live performances are recorded through to the last note and then burnt to CD-R. They are sold immediately to fans after the concert.

Of the guitars that Joseph utilizes, his primary acoustic guitar is an Irish Lowden 012C. Some of Joseph's other guitars include:

Garrison G-50-CE
Gibson ES-335
'70s Fender Strat
He makes great use of an Alesis Micron analog modeling synthethizer which boasts the same sound engine as the acclaimed Alesis Ion.

He often plays a diatonic harmonica in the key of G.

To incorporate his looping techniques, Arthur uses a myriad of rackmounted units of the Lexicon JamMan.

He plays his guitars through an impressive floor of effects pedals including a Vox Tonelab SE multi-effects, Mooger Fooger MF-102 Ring Modulator, a Boss Octaver and DD5, an Electro-Harmonix POG Memory Man, a Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler, a Countryman DI unit, a Fulltone Vibrato, a DigiTech Whammy, a MXR Phase 100, a Z.Vex Seek Wah, and many more.

Vocals are processed by a TC-Helicon VoiceLive floor unit.

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