Mark Charles Heidinger of Vandaveer recommends Joe Pug

Charles Heidinger and Joe Pugg

Charles Heidinger and Joe Pugg

Mark Charles Heidinger’s recommendation: “Joe Pug stops me in my tracks. There aren’t many things I can say about his music or his spirit that aren’t abundantly clear the first time you listen to Hymn #101 (clip below) from his first EP, Nation Of Heat. Joe happens to be a friend, which makes the task of writing about him a great deal harder, getting too syrupy about a buddy and all… Anyway, Rosie and I had the pleasure of touring with Mr. Pug and his Hundred Mile Band last fall, and while we were familiar with his music before said run, we honestly weren’t prepared for the dozen-night heart pummeling that followed. I’ve been trying to pick a few lyrics from Hymn 101 to share here, a glimpse, a sample, something to whet the appetite. But every line is so damn poetic I feel slightly irresponsible pulling any one chunk out of context… I’ll just get on with it, for brevity’s sake if nothing else…

And I’ve come to meet the legendary takers
I’ve only come to ask them for a lot
Oh they say I come with less than I should rightfully possess
I say the more I buy the more I’m bought
And the more I’m bought the less I cost

I read an interview of Joe’s a while back where he mentioned spending a great deal of time playing with words to see which ones sound nice together. It certainly shows, ’cause they all sound very nice together. And the sum is simply arresting. I’ve caught wind that he’s working on a new record this year. I know it’s early, but I know exactly what I want for Christmas.”

MP3: Hymn #101 by Joe Pug from Nation Of Heat

Mark Charles HeidingerAbout our guest author, Mark Charles Heidinger: Mark is the frontman and songwriter for Vandaveer, a band whose lineup changes from studio to stage (although Rose Guerin has been a constant in many of the recent press photos). Vandaveer caught tons of buzz when they shared the bill with both Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver and their credibility continues to rise with the release of their latest album Dig Down Deep which was produced by Duane Lundy (Jim James, These United States). There’s been a gush of good press for Vandaveer, including praise from Q Magazine which said that Mark “…mixes French chanson with folk and sounds like an updated Leonard Cohen.” Be sure to check The Vandaveer site to see when they are playing live near you.

MP3: Concerning Past and Future Conquests by Vandaveer

Anthony D’Amato carries a torch for Joe Pug

Anthony D'Amato and Joe Pug

Anthony D'Amato and Joe Pug

Anthony D’Amato’s recommendation: “The first time I encountered Joe Pug was at the 2009 Newport Folk Festival. From where I was standing, I could hear him, but I couldn’t see him. He had these absolutely brilliant lyrics and this weary, grizzled voice. I was expecting someone Steve Earle’s age, so I couldn’t believe it when I found out he was only in his twenties. He writes with such clarity, such purpose. Nothing is wasted in a Joe Pug song. Each line is so packed with meaning that you discover something new every time you listen.”

New to The Joe Pug? Anthony recommends you start here: “The Nation of Heat EP is a fantastic introduction to Joe’s songwriting. It’s just him and an acoustic guitar/harmonica—as sparse as a production can get, but still somehow it has this expansive sound. You feel like you’re listening from inside his guitar or something. The songs just envelop you. You can listen to the whole thing for free on his website.”

MP3: The Sharpest Crown by Joe Pug

Anthony D'AmatoAbout our guest author, Anthony D’Amato: Before recording his self-produced album, Down Wires, Anthony D’Amato honed his songwriting skill with some of the most skilled teachers you can dream up. First he met with Paul Muldoon, the Pulitzer Prize winning poet to talk lyrics. Then he teamed up with Canadian rocker Sam Roberts (who wound up playing on the album). On the performance side, Anthony has opened for the likes of Marah and Jesse Malin and even shared the stage with Bruce Springsteen at a recent benefit show. The press is buzzing about Anthony and you can bet your last guitar pick that No Depression had it right when they said, “…the attention is indeed warranted…D’Amato seems to be on the fast track to a stellar career.” Check his MySpace page for more info on your new favorite singer/songwriter.

MP3: My Father’s Son by Anthony D’Amato

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