Ballad of Boogie Christ

Ballad of Boogie Christ

by Joseph Arthur
     
 

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From the beginning, and even on his best work, there has always been something haphazard about Joseph Arthur's recordings. He's always tried so hard to capture the heat of the moment in the studio, that he can get sloppy, thus blunting impact. The Ballad of Boogie Christ changes that. A successful crowd-funding drive netted him a big budget and he spent itSee more details below

Overview

From the beginning, and even on his best work, there has always been something haphazard about Joseph Arthur's recordings. He's always tried so hard to capture the heat of the moment in the studio, that he can get sloppy, thus blunting impact. The Ballad of Boogie Christ changes that. A successful crowd-funding drive netted him a big budget and he spent it getting it right. Arthur calls this a "psychedelic soul record," about seeking, finding, and losing redemption. Recorded in four different studios from New York to Minneapolis to L.A., it features a star-studded cast including Joan Wasserman, film composer Paul Cantelon, Jim Keltner, Garth Hudson, Cynthia Popper, Juliette Lewis, Ben Harper, and more. Opening track "The Currency of Love," with its piano, bass, drums, strings, and electric guitar, plays an early rock & roll vamp as doo wop choruses support a lead vocal that's urgent, yet just campy enough to sound glam. "The Saint of Impossible Causes" weaves guitars and mandolins with crunchy beats; it's a first-person expression of need and hope, sung by someone who's lost everything. Arthur plays a mean sitar to boot. The title track, a fast rock & roll waltz, is a poignant observance about Jesus walking the earth in the 21st century. A hip, soulful horn chart and a gospel chorus provided by Wasserman and Jenni Muldaur send it over the top. The are only two "psychedelic soul" tracks here. The first is the furious "Black Flowers," with Popper's bass fueling the bottom end, appended by fiery percussion and punchy horns, as phase effects rampaging arund the lead and backing chorus vocals (Muldaur and C.C. White). "It's OK to Be Young/Gone," commences as a rock anthem and contains a chorus reminiscent of the Rolling Stones' in "I'm a Fool to Cry." There are studio versions of three songs that have been part of Arthur's stage show for years. The poem "I Miss the Zoo" is a paean to addiction's simplicity; the nostalgic longing for the rush and the seeming illumination its chaos brings; it's gorgeously illustrated by acoustic guitars, piano, and organ. Likewise, "Famous Friends Along the Coast" and the skeletal "All the Old Heroes" are given moree acoustic yet empathic treatments that illustrate the crafted poetry in Arthur's lyrics. The former features a lithe slide guitar solo by Harper and the latter Keltner's intuitive rock-solid drumming. To say that The Ballad of Boogie Christ is inspired is an understatement. It was written, performed, cut, and mixed with great care, and as such delivers Arthur's creative vision with abundant emotional power.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/11/2013
Label:
Lonely Astronaut
UPC:
0020286213932
catalogNumber:
213932
Rank:
74204

Related Subjects

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Joseph Arthur   Primary Artist,Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Drums,Keyboards,Sitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Jim Keltner   Percussion,Drums
Ben Harper   Background Vocals,Slide Guitar
Garth Hudson   Piano,Keyboards
David Immerglück   Guitar
Rami Jaffee   Organ
Jenni Muldaur   Background Vocals
Sebastian Steinberg   Bass
C.C. White   Background Vocals
Chris Seefried   Guitar,Piano,Strings,Background Vocals
Juliette Lewis   Background Vocals
Joan Wasser   Violin,Background Vocals
Paul Cantelon   Piano,Violin
Jessy Greene   Violin
Jonathan Flaugher   Bass
Catherine Popper   Bass
Sam Cohen   Guitar
Greg Wiz   Percussion,Drums
Kraig Jarret Johnson   Bass,Guitar,Background Vocals
Aaron Sterling   Drums
John 'Scrapper' Sneider   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
James King   Horn
Damara Stolfo   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Ed Ackerson   Engineer
Fred Kevorkian   Mastering
Bill Mims   Engineer
Chris Seefried   Producer
Matthew Cullen   Engineer
Kenny Siegal   Producer,Engineer
Joseph Arthur   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Artwork
Paul Cantelon   Composer
Sheldon Gomberg   Engineer
Eric Spring   Engineer
Seth Atkins Horan   Engineer
John 'Scrapper' Sneider   Horn Arrangements
René Bolduc   Cover Photo

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