I’ve got a few tracks in my collection from a variety of VA sampler albums; don’t know an awful lot about Joe Pug so I’ve come to this album with a completely fresh and open mind.
The opening song, “Bright Beginnings,” took me by surprise as it was a lot more slow and ‘brooding’ than I’d expected to hear; if I’d had any expectations at all. Pug’s gentle guitar playing is actually quite beautiful and his wordplay, simply beautiful in a sanguine kind of way.
If I had to compare his songwriting to anyone it would have to be Tom Russell; possibly because some of the themes both writers use is similar, especially the boxing metaphor in Veteran Fighter and the allusion to religion on Great Hosannas but Pug most certainly has his very own sound and way of writing and I’m possibly falling in love with it already.
While the overall sound is dark and brooding; Burn and Shine has a pretty dance beat to it and a chorus that Steve Earle has been trying to replicate since his Copperhead Road days and Windfall ends on a note of optimism with the jaw dropping If Still It Can’t Be Found which features Pat Sansome from Wilco on Mellotron.
At times Windfall makes for uncomfortable listening; but the effort is well worthwhile and hopefully this album will introduce Joe Pug to a whole world of new fans.
Released UK 9TH March (Loose Music)
Released US 10th March (Lightening Rod)