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Akron, Ohio, native Joseph Arthur has had an almost Zelig-like musical existence since Peter Gabriel signed him to his Real World label nearly two decades ago. Since then, Arthur has played Gabriel’s WOMAD festivals, opened for Ben Harper, Gomez and dozens of high profile artists, formed the supergroup Fistful of Mercy with Harper and Dhani Harrison (son of George) and toured solo with a looping system and with his band, The Lonely Astronauts. Arthur has recorded 11 EPs (including 1999’s Vacancy, which was Grammy nominated for Arthur’s package design) and 11 full-lengths, including his stellar 2013 original album The Ballad of Boogie Christ and his latest, a collection of Lou Reed covers called Lou: The Songs of Lou Reed. Arthur has certainly taken chances with his work that haven’t always paid critical dividends, but he has earned a great deal of respect from his peers, his loyal fan base and the media on a fairly regular basis.
YDIIYD: Dan Bern, Bob Dylan and Peter Gabriel pass around a guitar and a bottle and sing their most honest songs. (BB)