music monday :: joe pug

                                                                 [images via google image]
Today I'm introducing a great singer/songwriter that I absolutely love. Joe Pug! He's a brilliant writer (in my opinion), and while he is currently residing in Chicago, he is originally from Greenbelt, MD! That's like, half an hour from my house (and he's a Redskins fan!). I love seeing great artists come from my roots. Long story short, he released a couple of EP's back in the day and has now released two full-length albums (in 2010 and 2012) after touring. I was lucky enough to see him open for The Lumineers this summer, and I enjoyed every second of it.
His overall style is definitely acoustic-folk, all the way. Simplicity in its best form. A pure showcase of raw talent and beautiful words. He's a genius with a harmonica, too. Better yet, his appreciation for people who want to come listen to him is outstanding. This is one of the main reasons I'm featuring him: as a result of high ticket fees to shows, Joe has experimented with selling his own tickets to shows through his website, which means way lower fees or none at all. That kind of move is what sets him apart from other musicans who are trying to make it. The mentality of "music over money" is one that I'm on board with.
One of my favorite tracks on his album "The Great Despiser" is called "Deep Dark Wells." He didn't write it, but it has a great backstory. (Watch the video and you'll hear him explain it.) I loved hearing him play this song when I saw him. I just wanted to sing along... it's a great song of encouraging words and how great things can come out of a dark place.
When he started putting out his albums, he named a few of his songs "Hymn#..." A really good one is "Hymn #101" from his first EP that he put out ("Nation of Heat"). It speaks a lot of truth... one of the best things about Joe is how real he is in songs and his use of metaphors, as well as his excellent ability to tell a story. I can't get enough.

Basically, you should just go listen. You won't be disappointed if you like folk and guitars. It's perfect for a rainy day or a back-country road drive.  You can get his "In the Meantime" EP for free! And if you get a chance to see him, please do. Chances are his show will be cheap in price, but worth a whole lot more.



  1. Hey Sarah. Nice post about Joe Pug. I LOVE his Daytrotter sessions! I had no idea that he is originally from Greenbelt. CRAZY! I also like "Hymn #101" and "Bury Me Far". I actually purchased tickets to see him at the Hamilton with Bhi Bhiman a few months back, and then couldn't make it because of an emergency work situation. So, I'll have to see him next time around.

    1. Thanks, Mike! Hopefully we'll both get to see him the next time he's in town!