Song written and performed by Joseph Arthur & the A River Blue choir
Camera: Cecily Pingree, Jason Mann
Edited by: Malcolm Murray
Field Producer : Daniel Adams
In 2006 Barefoot Workshops launched A River Blue Arts Festival, an arts empowerment project for the children of internally-displaced persons camps in northern Uganda. One hundred children were brought together to participate in a music, dance, drama, and art festival. Joseph Arthur traveled to Uganda with Barefoot Workshops to help launch the project. This is a short music video using the song he wrote and recorded with the children.
The festival was hugely successful, which prompted Barefoot Workshops to continue its support through a community development project called A River Blue Vocational Training and Rehabilitation Center.
Each year, twenty-six of the community's most vulnerable youth are sponsored to attend A River Blue Vocational Training and Rehabilitation Center based in Alebtong, which offers a hybrid curriculum that mixes counseling, tailoring, agro-forestry, agriculture, animal husbandry, painting, MDD (music, dance & drama), English and basic business. An additional thirty-one youth are sponsored by A River Blue through a variety of outside programs including secondary school, catering/hotel management, and various other vocational training programs.
In 1996, New York-based singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur was the first American artist signed to Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records. Since then, he has released nine critically acclaimed studio albums and almost a dozen EPs. In 2010, Arthur, Ben Harper and Dhani Harrison formed the group Fistful of Mercy. RNDM is his latest project, a collaboration with Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament and drummer Richard Stuverud.
For this session, the third installment of the Twelve Days of Fretboard, Arthur performs “Cherries in the Snow” from RNDM debut album, Acts. He also describes the night at Los Angeles’ Bevonshire Lodge Motel where he personalized his Gibson Dove guitar. Beyond making great music, Arthur is a noted visual artist and has even painted a series of guitars for Godin.