Joseph Arthur has had a remarkable career, flying slightly under the mainstream radar but flirting with it—and big stars—consistently. He first came to the public consciousness as the first American signing to Peter Gabriel’s Real World label way back in 1996, and Arthur has released a deep catalog on various labels since. His tenth is this year’s The Ballad Of Boogie Christ, a sorta-concept album full of rich narratives and richer instrumentation that features guest turns from the likes of Ben Harper and Garth Hudson. Speaking of guest star power: Arthur’s current touring trio features a familiar face on bass and backing vocals, Mike Mills of R.E.M. The song they chose for this year’s Holiday Undercover was made famous by John Denver: “Please Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)” was featured on his 1975 album Rocky Mountain Christmas.