Joe Pug released his first EP around the same time folks started noticing this music blog. I vividly remember the day Nation of Heat arrived by mail and how my jaw slowly dropped as I listened to Pug’s songwriting. Music blogging is a labor of love and musicians like Pug are the reason we continue our evangelism. In addition to rising to the top of the ranks in folk songwriting, Joe has won over fans with humility and a blue collar work ethic each time he takes the stage.
This session was a reunion. It’s our second live session with Joe and our first with him since he recorded his 2010 album, Messenger, in the very same studio with Steve Shirk at Shirk Music + Sound. I once said that it’s hard to put a price tag on Joe’s music – its importance to me is hard to put into words. My admiration for his song craft has been reinforced over the years seeing him perform at festivals like Lollapalooza and SxSW (where he joined us at two of our parties) and at small venues in different cities. His stage presence has matured over the years, but the gratitude for his fans is always an emotion worn on his sleeve.
I saw Pug in Atlanta at The Earl this summer accompanied by his 100 Mile Band that includes Greg Tuohey on guitar and Chris Merrill on upright bass. If you missed the experience of seeing this threesome, then this session will be extra special for you. Joe is finishing up work on a new album with producer Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Iron & Wine, etc) and in addition to the few tour dates listed below, will be announcing more in the coming days/weeks. If you miss him in your town, you can catch him in Sweet Tone, USA (see the prelude to “Unsophisticated Heart” for context). We’ll be sure to keep you apprised on the future details.
August 26 Woodstock, VT–Suicide Six w/ Levon Helm Band
August 28 Ottawa, ON–Ottawa Folk Fest
Sept 4 Seattle, WA–Bumbershoot
Sept 5 Bellingham, WA–The Green Frog
Sept 7 Spokane, WA–The A Club
Sept 9 Portland, OR–Music Fest Northwest @ Alladin w/ Horse Feathers
Sept 10-11 Sisters, OR–Sisters Folk Festival
Video: Joe Pug – Nobody’s Man (Live in Chicago at Shirk Music + Sound)
Video: Joe Pug – How Good You Are (Live in Chicago at Shirk Music + Sound)
Video: Joe Pug – Call It What You Will (Live in Chicago at Shirk Music + Sound)