Hope in the dark
Joseph Arthur plays Belleayre this Friday, Rosendale Café this Saturday
Throughout his 14-year career, Joseph Arthur has carved out a nice niche marked by a wealth of fearlessly introspective, heartwrenching pop, folk and rock-inflected songs, occasionally augmented by samples and loops and always signed with his distinctly mournful but life-affirming signature. This theme runs throughout seven full-length studio releases and 11 EPs since his 1996 debut on Peter Gabriel’s Real World label. His combination of vulnerability and fearlessness makes the 2008 film titled You Are Free, which documented the launch of his 2005 tour, so much fun. His live shows are legendarily hypnotic, intimate affairs – especially when Arthur plays in a beautiful setting, as he will this Friday, July 16 at the Belleayre Music Festival and the following night at the tiny Rosendale Café.
With his most recent record Temporary People in the rearview mirror, he’s currently working on two separate projects, including one with UK-based producer Stephen Hage (Pet Shop Boys, Siouxsie Sioux). The second project is called The Ballad of Boogie Christ. Who knows? They will eventually be released via Arthur’s own label, Lonely Astronaut Records, though precisely when remains up in the air.
Think about the dark sides of Tom Waits or Nick Cave, but also the sense of hope and the careful pop craftsmanship of Elvis Costello. The wonderful Meghan Wolf will appear on Friday night in support of Arthur. For tix, visit www.belleayremusic.org.