Joseph Arthur & Willie Nile - 2/8

Friday, February 08 2013 6:00pm Doors / 8:00pm Start
Fri Feb 08 2013

Joseph Arthur & Willie Nile - 2/8

at City Winery New York City



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We have confirmed with Joseph Arthur that he will indeed still be performing this evening at City Winery as scheduled. Unfortunately, his co-bill Martha Wainwright has taken ill, and Willie Nile has agreed to take the stage with Joseph and weather the storm with us!

City Winery IS open (and warm, dry & cozy!) and we hope that you will still be able to join us for tonight's show! We do still have some great seats available, so tell your friends to tag along and we'll hold a spot and a glass of wine for them!

In the event that you can't make it tonight, however, we will be happy to issue you store credit to be applied to Martha's rescheduled date sometime in April.


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.

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.


The New York Times called him "one of the most gifted singer-songwriters to emerge from the New York scene in years." His album “Streets Of New York” was hailed as “a platter for the ages” by UNCUT magazine. He has been called "a one-man Clash" (UNCUT) and his critically acclaimed albums have gotten rave reviews around the world. Bono, Lou Reed, Lucinda Williams, Jim Jarmusch, Adam Duritz and Little Steven are among those who have sung his praises.

Willie Nile is a songwriters’ songwriter and his live performances are legendary. He has toured across the U.S. opening for The Who at the personal request of the band and sang with Bruce Springsteen at Giant Stadium. Bruce recently joined Willie on stage in Asbury Park for Willie’s song “Heaven Help The Lonely” (see link below).

Last years’ House Of A Thousand Guitars has been called many, “the best album of his career”. “They don’t make ‘em like that anymore? Well, Willie Nile just did! FOUR STARS!” – The Philadelphia Inquirer

Now Willie has just completed a new album, The Innocent Ones, for River House Records. It was released in Europe on Oct 11th and the North American release announcement will be coming soon. The album contains 11 original songs and was produced in New York City by Willie, Frankie Lee, Stewart Lerman, Steuart Smith (lead guitarist of The Eagles) and Hirsh Gardner.

The title track refers to the innocent victims around the world of man’s inhumanity to man, whether through war, neglect or ignorance. And though a serious subject, Nile makes it an uplifting rock anthem. “It’s an album with a number of songs dedicated to the downtrodden, the forgotten, the outcasts, the hopeless, the innocent ones”, says Willie. I wanted something hopeful and upbeat. I wanted to fire a shot across the bow of Sorrow and say ‘O no you don’t. Not so fast.’ Life’s tough and there’s a world of injustice out there, yeah I know, but we can make it better. It can be done.”

In Willie’s words, “The opening song on the album, “Singin’ Bell” is a song about freedom, kind of like a Pete Seeger moment as seen through the eyes of Social Distortion and the Ramones.”

“The lead radio track, “One Guitar” is a song about what one guitar and one voice can do to help change the world,” says Nile. “In our lifetime we’ve seen a number of people who’ve done that, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Bob Marley, Bruce Springsteen, Bono, the list goes on and I wanted to celebrate that idea. I still believe that a guitar, a voice and a good song can be a force for change and for good in this world whether it’s on a global stage or at a local level. I still believe in it.”

The reaction to the songs in live performance bears this out. Audiences all across Europe have given standing ovations to “One Guitar” when Willie plays it live. “For an unknown song to get that kind of reaction night after night is something I’ve ever seen before”, says Nile. Mike Peters, of the Alarm heard Willie sing it in Wales and said: “It’s the best song I’ve heard since “Rockin’ In The Free World.” The Alarm just recorded it on their new CD.

Willie just returned from summer tours in Italy and Spain and a fall tour in the UK with his band for the first time. Tour dates can be found at

Over the years, the Buffalo, NY-born singer has recorded and performed with The Who, Ringo Starr, Lucinda Williams, Richard Thompson, Roger McGuinn, Levon Helm, The Pretenders, Counting Crows, Jakob Dylan, Rosanne Cash and many others.

Willie was born in Buffalo, NY, sings, plays guitar and piano, lives in New York City and has outstanding parking tickets in many states.