Joseph Arthur In-depth Biography
Singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur was discovered by Peter Gabriel in the mid-'90s and soon signed to the artist's Real World label. Arthur's debut, Big City Secrets, was then released in 1997 and went practically unnoticed. Not discouraged by industry politics, the native of Akron, OH, continued to make music and dove into his Earth-inspired abstract art. His eclectic brooding is similar to the likes of Leonard Cohen, Joe Henry, and the late Jeff Buckley, and his time spent with Gabriel exposed his musical styles to a global palette. Arthur participated in Gabriel's annual WOMAD shows and spent the latter part of the '90s on the road with residency tours in the Northeast and Northwest, which included opening dates for labelmates Ben Harper and Gomez.
In 1999, Arthur released the seven-song EP Vacancy and received a Grammy nomination for Best Recording Package, thanks to his design with co-art director Zachary Larner. Following brief critical acclaim, Arthur released his sophomore effort, Come to Where I'm From, one year later on 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, in 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 on "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, his second album with 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. ~ MacKenzie Wilson, Rovi