Gritty-voiced singer and songwriter Joseph Arthur and former R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck had been friends and occasional collaborators for years before they teamed up to record an album under the name Arthur Buck.
The two first met when Arthur opened a string of shows for R.E.M. in 2000, and Buck would occasionally pop up on-stage at Arthur's shows. But when Arthur crossed paths with Buck in Mexico in 2017, it sparked a collaboration, with the two writing 11 songs together in a matter of days. After a day in a recording studio and some work in their home studios, the self-titled debut from Arthur Buck, a rough but enthusiastic mix of indie rock and contemporary folk, appeared in June 2018.
In 2016, Joseph Arthur was one of the artists appearing at the Todos Santos Music Festival, an annual event organized by Buck, who owns a home in Todos Santos, Mexico. After the show, Arthur left a Dobro guitar behind, and in 2017 he returned to Todos Santos in hopes of finding it. After arriving in town, Arthur ran into Buck, who invited him to spend some time at his home. Arthur stayed for several days with Buck, and after enjoying a swim in the ocean, they'd spend their afternoons playing guitars. Arthur played a few ideas he was working on, and soon Buck added his own melodic contributions to the mix. In three days, the pair knocked out eight tunes, and Arthur Buck made their live debut the next evening at a benefit concert for local firefighters. Not long after, Arthur invited Buck to sit in at a gallery show in Los Angeles, and the pair wrote three more songs at the soundcheck and played them that night. Four days after the show in L.A., Arthur and Buck spent seven hours in a studio in Portland, Oregon, recording the songs they had written during their recent bursts of activity. After the two musicians added overdubs in their home studios, they turned the tracks over to Tchad Blake for mixing, and the Arthur Buck album was complete. New West Records released the set in June 2018, and Arthur Buck booked a tour of Europe and North America in support. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi