So Joe Pug has been around for a couple years, but I've unfortunately been missing out on this talented songwriter until just recently when I heard his debut full-length, The Messenger. that wasn't for lack of effort on Pug's part, however. After moving to Chicago he started recording songs, sending out two-song CD-Rs (an estimated 15,000!) and has an EP available on his website for free (link below) - and people began to take notice. His musical approach is a familiar and well worn one, a simple folk style with a lyrical focus, but as Pug is a gifted musician and writer, it's surely the best way to showcase his talents.
The Messenger features a slightly more polished, produced sound than his earliest work, but Pug keeps the focus right where it belongs, on his acoustic guitar, mournful harmonica and world-weary voice. Highlights include the quiet but tense tale "How Good You Are," the banjo-led "The Door Was Always Open," and the surprising rocker that closes the record, "Speak Plainly, Diana." You'll hear echoes of many songwriting greats in Pug's vocal and lyrical style, but his music feels completely natural and true to the man behind it, so The Messenger never feels borrowed or tired. With such a strong first effort, Pug will certainly turn heads and set the bar high for himself in the future as a songwriter to watch, but that's pressure I imagine he'll handle just fine.
For an email address, you can download the In the Meantime EP for free HERE (highly recommended!)