Joe Pug's Nation of Heat EP was one of my favorite releases of 2008 and his set at the Newport Folk Festival last year was one of many highlights of that fantastic weekend. When i talked to him following his set at Newport he wasn't sure when the debut full-length would be released, despite the fact that it was already done. The wait was well worth it - nearly six months later, The Messager was released on February 16.
I have given the album quite a few spins in the last couple weeks - highly recommended. The songs sneak up on you, the magic is in the lyrics. These are songs of doubt and loss, but are at the same time comforting and even uplifting. Touring behind The Messenger and supporting Justin Townes Earle, Joe Pug played a fantastic 50 minute set featuring songs from both Nation of Heat and The Messenger. Solo acoustic with electric accompaniment from Andrew Harrison on a few tracks (who notably sports one mean ass beard).
Full set available below for stream/download - sound is excellent despite some audience noise and a bit of distortion at the louder moments. Enjoy!
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