Joseph Arthur has what can be considered the opposite of writer’s block. Born in Akron, Ohio and currently residing in Brooklyn, Joseph Arthur once released four EPs in four months, all the while working on two full-lengths. In total, the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter has released nine full-length albums and eleven EPs since being discovered by Peter Gabriel in 1996. On top of his alternative indie folk rock solo career with backing band The Lonely Astronauts, Arthur is also a member of Fistful of Mercy alongside Ben Harper and Dhani Harrison, as well as RNDM with Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament.
Yet Joseph Arthur’s most recent release wasn’t a collaboration with Peter Gabriel or R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe, nor a double album of original material, such as the critically acclaimed Redemption City (2012) and The Ballad of Boogie Christ (2013). On Lou (2014), Arthur tackles a twelve-song tribute to Lou Reed, stripping down and reworking Reed’s compositions with a minimalist approach. Arthur manages to pay homage while incorporating his own style of arrangements and genre tastes, resulting in a fresh and sincerely expressive interpretation of some of Lou Reed’s most beloved songs.
– Jack Anderson