Joe Pug, Live Session #92

by oz on August 24, 2011

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.

Tour Dates:

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

Joe Pug Band Introduction

Exclusive: Joe Pug – Call It What You Will

Exclusive: Joe Pug – How Good You Are

Exclusive: Joe Pug – Unsophisticated Heart

Exclusive: Joe Pug -Nobody’s Man

Exclusive: Joe Pug – Dodging The Wind

Download the Joe Pug Live Session as a zip file.

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)

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Shirk September 7, 2011 at 1:52 pm

I guess I’ll be the first to post on this – It was a lot of fun having Joe and co. back in the studio for this session. Even Tim -Strand of Oaks -Showalter was in with us that day. I basically set up the mics, pressed record then ran in the other room and covered duties as camera op. I had my hands full and Tim would get on the talkback and let me know when I was screwing up the shot. Anyhow, there was a great vibe in here that day.

This is the same room we cut songs for Joe’s full length album, Messenger. I really enjoyed listening to how some of these songs (the cuts from Messenger) developed after a year and a half of touring. Obviously, the addition of Chris (Bass) and Greg (guitar) bring the songs to a new place. But what is most interesting to me is hearing how Joe’s vocal delivery has matured. I’ve really enjoying watching this guy develop as an artist. I’m so excited to hear what he and Brian Deck came up with for his new album. I’m sure it will be nothing short of amazing.

Shirk September 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Just read that Joe will be playing with The Low Anthem at the Somerville Theater on October 21st.

Woody September 8, 2011 at 9:59 am

I originally wasn’t as smitten with Joe as the rest of the HearYa crew at first. But after seeing him live on a few occasions; I really feel that he is one of the most important voices out there in the musical landscape. Great job on the session.

Louis Vasseur September 10, 2011 at 3:01 pm

I first heard Joe Pug when Jenny Franck opened for him at a show in DeKalb. As he played, I was taken back to the late 70s in Chicago when Lincoln Avenue was awash with small “folk clubs” and every night you could hear oustanding singer/songwriters up and down the street. When I heard him on the Prairie Home Companion radio show, I thought how great it was that a musician who worked that hard and long was finally getting his due.

Kathy Rinaldi October 6, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Thank you I love your song!! Kathy

Anthony Toner October 10, 2011 at 5:43 am

Joe is one of the most arresting voices out there are the minute – I was just knocked out by Nation of Heat. After a fallow period in my own songwriting, that EP kickstarted something for me and I’ve been hooked since. Can’t wait to hear the new album.

Mike February 15, 2012 at 5:38 am

Just found Joe, lucky old me the week before he plays in Manchester UK. Greeat stuff…love Nobody’s man

Guitars of Montana March 19, 2012 at 11:38 pm

You guys did a fantastic job of recording this. Everything is there, right where it belongs in the mix. The result of everybody in the studio collaborating well. Again: Great job.

Joanna Backman July 1, 2013 at 1:39 pm

First time I saw Joe Pug was when he opened for my longtime hero, Steve Earle, in New Braunsfels, TX, summer of 2009. He was the first opening act I didn’t want to leave the stage. I am a native Texan and was home visiting when we saw that show. I’ve lived in Minneapolis since 1987 and now would only dream of missing Joe when he’s in town if I was bleeding internally…and even then I would try. He’s incredible, perfect lyrics, beautiful melody and one of the kindest entertainers I’ve ever met.

Vincent J. Vera November 16, 2013 at 9:39 pm

I love his style.. Call It What You Will is awesome!

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