It was tortuous irony how I found Joe Pug. Every week I have to glance at my blog line-up and for some reason last Friday, I checked a new blog and scrolled the past months worth of entries. For some odd reason (I rarely click on videos) I decided to click the video. Short, simple name, with an honest tune. Joe Pug. Enthralled at the video and the stripped dusty sound that accompanied Dylanesque lyrics, I started my research. Within 5 minutes I discovered Joe Pug, loved the first two songs I heard and found out that he was ironically playing in my backyard for the next three days. Holiday Parties are fun but apparently can come at the wrong time. Damn it! Three chances to see this emerging powerhouse and I went 0 for 3. His videos, live sessions, myspace and tunes have been clogging my computer ever since.
Joe Pug - Hymn 101 from Sam Molleur on Vimeo.
So here's the dilly. So many out there are quick to judge a decent singer-songwriter with a bit of freedom and dust in their lyrics as "just like Bob Dylan." Sure they may have some similarities, but being a huge Dylan admirer, I usually scoff at the accusations as a knock to Dylan. But here is Joe Pug, a seemingly bashful personality with brilliant lyrics and some southern porch pickin.'
I'm sold. And though he is not Dylan and may never leave footprints like Dylan, Pug can at least fill the void for me while offering something new to my ears.
According to his site, Pug picked up his guitar after finding himself in a lull from his senior year at the Univ. of North Carolina. re-tuning the guitar he hadn't touched in a decade, the 23 year-old pug road-tripped toward Chicago and left his life as a carpenter behind. A friend snuck Pug into recording studios for late night sessions that opened up after cancellations from main artists. Initially slated for a play Pug was writing, the songs turned into his first EP released in 2006, Nation of Heat. Since then, Joe Pug has been a headliner to a sold-out Schuba's and is gearing to release another full-length album in 2009. I will be sure not to miss him again.
Courtesy of Joe Pug
Joe Pug - Hymn #101