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Joe Pug

Aug. 25 • Whispering Beard Folk Festival

By Steven Rosen · August 20th, 2013 · Sound Advice
soundadvice_joe_pug_photo_amber meairsPhoto: Amber Meairs
It’s heartwarming that, in an age when new musicians jumpstart their careers via hokey TV talent shows and gimmicky YouTube videos, Folk/Americana singer/songwriter Joe Pug has chosen a different way. An old-fashioned way — trusting in his talent and in the enduring power of performing with acoustic guitar and harmonica. He’s been playing endless small-club gigs to build word-of-mouth and, after self-releasing EPs, signed with a small but dedicated indie label. 

And with success, he has moved to filling out his sound with electric accompaniment. He is the marquee Saturday-night act at the three-day (Friday-Sunday) Whispering Beard Folk Festival in Friendship, Ind.

For details, visit whisperingbeard.com.

Dissatisfied with academia, Pug dropped out of college in his senior year to resume guitar-playing and songwriting in Chicago. (He also worked for a while as a carpenter.) He made his EP Nation of Heat free to any fan who agreed to spread the music — and a good word about him — to a friend. It worked, partly because Pug’s sincerity was appealing and partly because the record contained such strong, affectingly literate songs as “Hymn #101” and “Speak Plainly Diana.”

Now, with two albums available on Nashville, Tenn.’s Lightning Rod Records (also home to Friday headliner Jason Isbell until his latest record, Southeastern), Pug really seems on his way. And this is a good moment to catch him.

JOE PUG plays at the Whispering Beard Folk Festival in Friendship, Ind., on Saturday, Aug. 25. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.



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