Sunday, March 9, 2008

Arthur Yoria is worth the $10

Chicago-to-Houston transplant Arthur Yoria picked up a guitar for the first time relatively late in life, while he was a student at UH. He has since gotten pretty good and released two EPs and two full-length albums. Along with former Rockets point guard Matt Maloney, Yoria also founded his own record label, 12Records, Inc., which distributed his two albums--I'll Be Here Awake (2003) and Handshake Smiles (2007). Both are pretty cheery and melodic, and both include a number of standouts, such as the David Garza-esque "Call Me" (no relation to the Blondie song), "Sandy," and "Here to Stay." While his songs have been used on a number of TV shows (including The O.C. and various MTV broadcasts) and ad campaigns, Yoria still toils in relative obscurity. His career took a slight detour after I'll Be Awake due to panic attacks that kept him from performing live, but he seems back to his old form. He now plays throughout the country but can often be found at Rudyard's, where his shows often feature "live" looping in addition to a full band. I chatted with him briefly last year at one of his shows, and he couldn't have been nicer. He is certainly worth the $10 cover (or whatever it is).

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