We should probably explain that last source, which goes back to the time that an email hit the Popdose inbox, wondering if we might be interested in chatting with Ben Arthur. We immediately recognized that offer as a possible opportunity to instead ask Ben a bunch of questions meant for Bea Arthur of The Golden Girls fame. And just like that, we were off and running. We quickly discovered that Ben likes to have fun and be goofy just as much as we do — and a lifelong friendship officially kicked off.
Throughout his career, Ben has always been working an interesting angle when it comes to the projects that he engages in and that’s something that we discuss during today’s interview regarding his latest album, Call & Response, a collection of “answer songs” responding to the work of other artists.
He has some well-known targets, like the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen, in addition to songs that offer a response to short stories by Joyce Carol Oates and Alice Munro. Additionally, several of the songs are collaborations that he co-wrote with folks like best-selling author Jonathan Lethem and short story writer George Saunders.
I’ve really enjoyed this album a lot since I got it, so it was a real thrill to get the chance to talk with Ben about this record and he also shared plenty of information regarding his other projects, including Songcraft Presents, his Emmy-nominated songwriting video series.
Ben recorded a couple of exclusive performances of songs from the album for this podcast. You’ll hear one song going into the interview and then another one at the end of the podcast. In the middle of it all, we’ll toss in a sample song from the record as well. By the time we are finished, you should have a pretty good idea as far as what this album is all about.
Visit the Lost Together website for a complete archive of all of the episodes we’ve done so far. We’re on Facebook and Twitter as well and you can always feel free to drop us a line or three via the email machines.
This episode is dedicated to William S. Burroughs and Naked Lunch.
Thanks for listening!
Lost Together with Matt Wardlaw, Episode 22: Ben Arthur
Photo Credit: Christopher Auger Dominguez