Joel Arant

Joel Arant

BandAmericanaSinger/Songwriter

After performing and collaborating on 1990's 'Bite the Dirt' with the Hootch Hounds, 1995's 'Pretty as a Picture with The Sojourners and 1999's 'Get Lucky' with The Proxies, Joel Arant has released his first solo CD.

Biography

I like to think that the beginning of my guitar playing, butt wiggling musical career (and don't worry, I'm using the term loosely - and I don't mean 'butt wiggling') was when I moved to Iowa City in the mid eighties. I actually played some acoustic gigs when I first arrived but quickly hooked up with a nasty little outfit called the 'Hootch Hounds'. We played rock and roll covers, mostly in small towns around Iowa City, probably averaging close to 100 nights a year. By the end of that time we were a three piece with Bo Hanson on guitar, Andy English on drums and me on bass. That was the most fun I've ever had in my life. I'm still proud to have worked with every one of those guys (that includes you too, Mikey, '10 Shot Willy' and 'Hootch' Halverson).

All good things have to end. As I flailed on for a couple more years in the little bars trying to hone my skills on the electric guitar it became clear that that scene would never be what it once was. We had actually picked a good time to quit. I was tired of the personality conflicts and all of the work necessary to keep a band together. I also knew how hard it was to start all over again with something new. So I had a brilliant idea - I'll play in a band with my (at the time) wife, Jan!

To be real honest, it may have been her idea as well. It actually did go pretty well for a while considering what we were trying to do. We did manage to record two CDs with my sister (not sure she wants to be named) on cordovox and vocals and our good friend Jeff Farber on drums and vocals. First we were 'The Sojourners' and then when we realized that that name had been used, 'The Proxies'.

Anyway, to make a long story maybe not quite as long as it could be, yada, yada, yada - it was time for me to learn how to play the acoustic guitar! Oh yeah, I had to make a CD too!

Lyrics

Bigsville

Written By: Joel Arant

You've got my goat lined up with the barrels of a tandem ten-gauge
but there's a note on the mirror saying no more road rage
I took a pill and hit the road before the sun hit the beer cans
and I think I would make it by noon if you don't have lunch plans
the first time I arrived as I rolled into the drive I was flying
and if you were to say, today, the thrill survives, man you wouldn't be lying
like any other fool that's played with fire I've been a few more than twice bit
but now it's clear all roads lead down from here any way you slice it

been good for nothing since I caught a whiff
I can't imagine what would have happened if
I never made it to Bigsville
and I'm going to Bigsville

I used to be the kind to up and go at any time in any weather
but now it seems it's often quite enough if I can put two thoughts together
now I'm whizzing towards a glow as from a bow aimed at the town that I belong to
and I'm praying hard that nothing's gonna break the only thread I'm holding on to

been good for nothing since I caught a whiff
I can't imagine what would happen if
I never made it to Bigsville
and I'll see you in Bigsville

I've got my hopes set on a sandwich and the soup du jour
'cause I've had my sights set on the hamlet that's the heights for sure
each time I lay my head upon the bosom of the berg that has no peer
I feel a faint relief although I's always pretty sure I'd wind up here

been good for nothing since I caught a whiff
I can't imagine what would have happened if
I never made it to Bigsville
like I made it to Bigsville

Lullaby for Becky

Written By: Joel Arant

There oughta be a law against you
I'm thinking it'd be making sense too
I knew I'd never get a moment's peace
but if I write a letter to the chief of police

there'll be a warrant out for your arrestingness
and you'll only make it harder if you don't confess
there'll be a hollow ring to your alibis
when you're led into the courtroom
with your big blue eyes

there oughta be a law about you
then nobody'd have to live without you
I'll spend the wee wee hours just counting sheep
until some deputy can earn his keep

when there's a warrant out for your arrestingness
and you'll only make it harder as you do protest
they'll be closing up the doors and locking up the locks
when they put the jury outright in the witness box

I'll find the officer in charge
and complain about the dream-like trances
for as long as you are still at large
I know that I am taking chances...

if your transgression I could not expand on
then you just might have a leg to stand on
I'd like to tell you now right to your face
there is no question that they'll have a case

when there's a warrant out for your arrestingness
and you'll only make it harder if you don't confess
everyone will see an ordinance is more than bent
as you proudly tell the jury that you're innocent

Family of Man

Written By: Joel Arant

I don't know
what I'm gonna do
I feel as wanted
as an old brown shoe
but I'm doing everything
to try to understand
just like the waves keep rolling
to the shore
I keep on knocking on this
bolted door
if I said I was afraid
would you try to hold my hand?

'cause baby's got a thing
for the family of man

I don't know what I thought I'd find
I didn't know that you were so inclined
but now the road's a little steep
what with the company you keep
so I threw a hammer in the gears
now you're calling out the bombardiers
and soon those bombs are gonna land
guess I could use a helping hand

'cause baby's got a thing
for the family of man

when I see her smiling sweetly
from the motorcade
it's like I'm buying cotton candy
and a lemonade
for the whole parade!

now I know that it was all in fun
when you said I was the only one
but I guess if I were you
I would get it while I can

'cause baby's got a thing
for the family of man

Discography

To Whom it May Behoove (2005)
Get Lucky, The Proxies (2000)
Pretty as a Picture, The Sojourners (1995)
Bite the Dirt, Hootch Hounds (1990)

Set List

(basic 50-60 min set)

Grocery Boy
Bigsville
As Soon as I'm Broken
Go-Between
Lullaby for Becky
Beauty
I had to go
All over town
Caesar
My little girl
Breather
Family of Man