Joseph Arthur & David Berkeley - 7/7
at City Winery New York City
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 DAVID BERKELEY
David Berkeley is a romantic realist, known for his ability to look at the human condition in all its complexity and give us luminous songs full of sunshine and anguish, melancholy and delight. , While living in a 35-person village in the mountains of Corsica, David Berkeley wrote the most haunting and powerful music of his life resulting in Berkeley’s 4th studio album, Some Kind of Cure He also wrote an accompanying book of charming short stories that inform each song 140 Goats & a Guitar: The Stories Behind Some Kind of Cure. His engrossing live shows are filled with "Emotional story-telling lyrics, charismatic stage presence, and hilarious anecdotes" (June Wulff, THE BOSTON GLOBE).
Dubbed, “A musical poet” by the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, David was named one of WXPN's “Artists to Watch,” wrote his song “Fire Sign” for the
CBS series Without a Trace and went on to perform on World Café, Acoustic Cafe, Mountain Stage, XM’s Loft Sessions, WFUV with John Platt and radio and television stations across the country. He received ASCAP’s Johnny Mercer Songwriter Award and, perhaps most notably, performed on PRI’s ‘This American Life’, telling the awkward and hilarious story of a private serenade he was hired to perform to help a guy win back an ex-girlfriend.