Joe Pug's 'Nation of Heat'Let me blaspheme right now and get it out of the way. I only recently became a fan of Joe Pug, but upon my first several listenings to his Nation of Heat EP I had one thought in mind: Dylan-esque. High praise maybe, and it’s yet to be seen if his career can span 40-some-odd years, but I like the way he has started.
It’s only been a couple of years since Pug decided to be a musician, throwing in the towel on college and moving to Chicago from North Carolina. He played his first headlining show last May, at Chicago's legendary Schuba’s Tavern. Two weeks later he released Nation of Heat.
Barely a year later, Pug is scheduled to play several summer festivals, including Bonnaroo next month and Lollapalooza in August. He’s also touring with Steve Earle for several dates this summer, including a June 18 show at the Crighton Theatre in Conroe, Texas, which will be the only time you’re going to hear me say I wish I still lived in Conroe.
An October appearance on NPR brought high praise for the 23-year-old singer/songwriter: “Not only does [the] Chicago-based singer have a beautifully mature voice, but the lyrics...possess wisdom seemingly beyond his age.”
Absolutely. When I first discovered Pug, and started looking for more information and music, I was surprised to learn he was so young. Pug is working on his debut full-length, which will be a sort of litmus test as to whether he can sustain the buzz from his EP. Comparisons to Bob Dylan and Josh Ritter tend to put a lot of pressure on a person, but I like this guy’s music and hope he can pull it off.
Nation of Heat.mp3
Click over to Joe Pug’s MySpace for his summer tour dates and other things you need to know.