Ben Arthur’s If You Look for My Heart doesn’t simply combine the concept album and novel as a way to leverage buyer attention. The two are independent, yet completely interrelated pieces.

Popdose is proud to premiere the new video for “Desolate,” a key track originally interpreted by Rachael Yamagata for Arthur’s project, but performed here by the singer-songwriter himself in a rare solo turn at Sellersville Theater. Arthur returns to the same venue this Saturday, August 17, 2013, appearing in support of the James Hunter Six.

This is the first time Arthur has released a solo performance of “Desolate,” which he completely re-worked for Yamagata, a singer who has previously collaborated with Jason Mraz, Ryan Adams, Ray Lamontagne and Toots and the Maytals. “Rachael has the most amazingly expressive, soulful voice, and I always jump at the chance to have her interpret my songs,” Arthur tells us. “I originally wrote a different song for this piece, one that was supposed to be sort of a train wreck of a song, but when Rachael said she’d help, I rewrote the song from the ground up.”

If You Look for My Heart would become the sixth full-length album for the deeply good-natured Arthur. His work has previously been performed on the internationally syndicated “Acoustic Cafe” radio program, as well as during a trio of half-hour specials on Sirius XM.

Arthur hatched this new album/novel concept over the course of a series of dates at New York City’s Bowery Poetry Club in 2007-2008. “I would read sections of a short story interspersed with songs that vaguely fit the narrative, and it was interesting — but felt fakey,” Arthur says. “So I wondered if I could create a story from the ground up that existed within both the songs and the novel, each of which could stand alone, but which, when combined, would enhance and even change each other.”

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About the Author

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has also explored jazz, blues, rock and roots music for USA Today, Gannett News Service, Something Else!, All About Jazz, Living Blues, and the Louisiana Folklife Program, among others. Named newspaper columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section that was named Top 10 in the nation by the AP in 2006.

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