Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Quick hitters:: Joe Pug Nation of Heat EP

web site :: buy CD :: myspace

The problem with driving across the country and randomly leaving the Ipod on shuffle is over those 7200 kilometers, I heard so many good songs that I forgot about a few artists as I sunk into the endless road.

Luckily, last weekend it seems that Songs Illinois had a house show that featured three amazing artists and it made me remember an EP I've been listening to so much that my wife made me stop playing it. Sure, we already gushed about Jon Jackson - honestly if I had heard it in time it would have ended up as one of my top two albums of '07 - but somehow we've never mentioned Joe Pug on the hill.

After even one listen to Nation of Heat, you realize that Joe is one of those talents you stumble upon and are immediately blown away. At a mere 22-years old, he's able to conjure the spirit and skill of names people toss around too easily. Dylan, Young, Prine; all of these artists were able to transcend above their guitar playing, quirky voice and story telling narratives and start speaking for the every man. And like these great artists, when Pug floats a simple line like, "before we met I knew we'd meet" you wonder how it sticks in your head so effortlessly.

Pug - while obviously undeserving of comparisons to artists with songs that have spoken for generations and will continue to do so - has the ability to write a song that envelops you (I Do My Father's Drugs), somehow transforming a simple guitar and harmonica into something special, something meaningful, something that says what you want to hear.

He's able to seeing a protest song like Nation of Heat and make you believe in not only the song, but the young man singing it. It's hard to predict where this fresh faced folker is going to end up. Envisioning him playing for big crowds is easy, but more enjoyable is picturing him in a unheard of hole in the wall playing for a small collection of speechless admirers.

Posted at 1:15 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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