Joseph Arthur: The One Man Electrical Band

Opening for R.E.M. on Friday night in Montreal was one-man band phenom Joseph Arthur. This was the first time I had ever seen or heard Arthur and it was quite a revelation. His songs ranged from folksy to poppish but what was amazing was how he managed to sound like a full band yet do it all by himself. At times he reminded me of a mad rock and roll scientist as he the twisted knobs on his big rack of gear elicited everything from electronic whoops and feedback to multiple backing tracks of his own percussion and vocals, all recorded right there on stage in an amazing, layered manner. He would definitely be more fun to see in a smaller club setting than where I saw him at the cavernous Bell Centre. Download All of Our Hands to get you going. Well worth it to try and catch him live.