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Joseph Arthur: Ethereal Elegance

Joseph Arthur.
Joseph Arthur.
Joseph Arthur in Studio on World Cafe - 10/18/2006

Joseph Arthur's music has an ethereal elegance to it, featuring simple melodies and soaring vocal harmonies. Each song has its own driving force — a wistful backup groove, a driving guitar riff or Arthur's own mournful voice. His music sounds heavily influenced by R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe and Coldplay's Chris Martin, but the inspiration may not be entirely one-sided.

Arthur was discovered by Peter Gabriel in the mid-'90s, at which point he left his native Akron, Ohio. Since then, Arthur has released several albums and toured in support of a remarkable list of musicians, including R.E.M., Coldplay, Ben Harper and Tracy Chapman. He won a Grammy in 1999 for the artwork and packaging of his EP Vacancy; this year, Arthur presented his own art exhibit at a gallery in London and performed on The Late Show with David Letterman. His fifth album, Nuclear Daydream, came out in September. This segment originally aired on Oct. 18, 2006.

Copyright 2006 XPN

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David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe® since 1991. World Cafe is produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.