Arthur Buck at The Independent, by William Wayland
Arthur Buck (photo: William Wayland)

Words by Elaine Blakely

Arthur Buck is not modern and has not been around forever. Arthur Buck is not rehearsed or contrived and most definitely, Arthur Buck is not well known.  One new fan told us he hadn’t heard of Arthur Buck until the day before but as soon as he did he bought a ticket to see some of his idols at the cozy Independent.

Arthur Buck is a serendipitous band with R.E.M.’s cofounder and lead guitarist Peter Buck with Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and artist Joseph Arthur. The band played to an intimate but enthusiastic audience on September 10. It was the band’s third show ever on their first tour behind Arthur Buck’s self-titled album, with some of the best-played musicians in alternative (in many ways, the precursor to “indie”) rock with Scott McCaughey on bass, Linda Pitmon on drums, and Gregg Foreman on keyboard.

Opening for the band, Line & Circle gifted the R.E.M.-fan-based crowd with a voice that’s been compared many times over to Michael Stipe’s. Surrounded by looped guitar riffs by Eric Neujahr, singer Brian J. Cohen began to sound more like Echo and the Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch, sending this writer into a dreamy trance wanting more. The foursome stripped it down to small percussions with drummer Garrett Ray, sans drum kit, reaching into his bag of tricks to surprise us with a fresh kind of beat-making instrument like Mary Poppins and her magical carpet bag. Look for Line & Circle’s new single, “Full Disclosure,” released last week.