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Back on the road with Joe Pug

The folk-singer's latest Windfall

Joe Pug put his guitar down for months and he got engaged, which turned out to provide the cure for his perceived failure.
Joe Pug put his guitar down for months and he got engaged, which turned out to provide the cure for his perceived failure.

He was about to quit music three years ago, the folk singer Joe Pug claimed to anyone in the media who would listen. And, there were many. A couple of years earlier he’d ditched school in Chapel Hill, moved to Chicago, and started performing at open mics. Come 2009, Pug released his debut EP, which would sell better than 20,000 copies and land him on the national stage as Steve Earle’s opener and within the safe harbor of a Nashville record label deal. But the road, with its one-nighters, crappy food, and thin profits will turn any artist sour. Joe Pug put his guitar down for months and he got engaged, which turned out to provide the cure for his perceived failure: love and detachment.

Video:

"Bright Beginnings"

...off of Joe Pug's latest, <em>Windfall</em>

...off of Joe Pug's latest, Windfall

The comeback was Windfall in 2015 and the big boys (Rolling Stone, Paste) who’d reported on his leave-taking could not say enough good about his return to form.

Joseph Pugliese is 32 and lives in Austin. He’d studied playwriting in college, which accounts for the Steinbeck, Dos Passos, and Raymond Carver on his book shelf. Ruminate on this Carver-esque turn in Pug’s “Disguised as Someone Else”: “I wish that I could work for you with someone else’s hands/ Be behind the counter of a bookstore that you’re in/ Charge you seven dollars for a crossword and a pen/ You would leave and not look back again/ Even hardened criminals, they get a second chance.”

Past Event

Joe Pug

  • Wednesday, July 6, 2016, 9 p.m.
  • Casbah, 2501 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+ / $15 - $17

The way that Pug sings his music, the deeper meanings leave a lingering after-taste not altogether unpleasant, considering the inner melancholy of the material. Listeners old enough to recall a time when folk guitars fired the biggest shots at the troubles of society will no doubt hear a lot of young Bob Dylan seeping through Joe Pug’s own singing, which is always welcome — not even Dylan does Dylan anymore.

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Joe Pug put his guitar down for months and he got engaged, which turned out to provide the cure for his perceived failure.
Joe Pug put his guitar down for months and he got engaged, which turned out to provide the cure for his perceived failure.

He was about to quit music three years ago, the folk singer Joe Pug claimed to anyone in the media who would listen. And, there were many. A couple of years earlier he’d ditched school in Chapel Hill, moved to Chicago, and started performing at open mics. Come 2009, Pug released his debut EP, which would sell better than 20,000 copies and land him on the national stage as Steve Earle’s opener and within the safe harbor of a Nashville record label deal. But the road, with its one-nighters, crappy food, and thin profits will turn any artist sour. Joe Pug put his guitar down for months and he got engaged, which turned out to provide the cure for his perceived failure: love and detachment.

Video:

"Bright Beginnings"

...off of Joe Pug's latest, <em>Windfall</em>

...off of Joe Pug's latest, Windfall

The comeback was Windfall in 2015 and the big boys (Rolling Stone, Paste) who’d reported on his leave-taking could not say enough good about his return to form.

Joseph Pugliese is 32 and lives in Austin. He’d studied playwriting in college, which accounts for the Steinbeck, Dos Passos, and Raymond Carver on his book shelf. Ruminate on this Carver-esque turn in Pug’s “Disguised as Someone Else”: “I wish that I could work for you with someone else’s hands/ Be behind the counter of a bookstore that you’re in/ Charge you seven dollars for a crossword and a pen/ You would leave and not look back again/ Even hardened criminals, they get a second chance.”

Past Event

Joe Pug

  • Wednesday, July 6, 2016, 9 p.m.
  • Casbah, 2501 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+ / $15 - $17

The way that Pug sings his music, the deeper meanings leave a lingering after-taste not altogether unpleasant, considering the inner melancholy of the material. Listeners old enough to recall a time when folk guitars fired the biggest shots at the troubles of society will no doubt hear a lot of young Bob Dylan seeping through Joe Pug’s own singing, which is always welcome — not even Dylan does Dylan anymore.

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