The Ballad of Boogie Christ

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
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: 6/11/2013
  • Label: Lonely Astronaut
  • UPC: 020286213932
  • Catalog Number: 213932
  • Sales rank: 46,034

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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