July 27


08:00 pm - 10:00 pm

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Live at Hub City Vinyl


Live At Hub City Vinyl

28 East Baltimore Street, Hagerstown, MD 21740

Hagerstown, MD, US, 21740

Folk rockstar of the ages, famous for his Working Songwriters podcast as well as his music, on our stage Saturday, July 27th.

Joe Pug, troubadour of the folk rock world, is sure to keep you spellbound with his authentic melodies and stories of truth. His album Messenger met critical acclaim, with Paste Magazine stating “unless your surname is Dylan, Waits, Ritter or Prine, you could face-palm yourself to death trying to pen songs half as inspired as the 10 tracks on Joe Pug’s debut full-length.

In 2005, on the night before his senior year fall classes were to start, Pug dropped out of college and drove directly to Chicago, having thought (as he mentioned later to The Daily Tar Heel): “I had a moment where I realized life is short and I knew where I wanted to be and I should just get there.” That week, he took a job as a carpenter and moved into an apartment in Logan Square. Pug has described his two-day trip from Chapel Hill in his Ford Ranger and his first week in Chicago as “the most magical experience of my entire life”.

Pug soon began playing music again at open-mike nights at a local bar. When asked why he began pursuing folk music instead of other musical genres or the playwriting he studied at college, Pug responded:

“It’s always been the music I’ve listened to most, though I’ve listened to different stuff along the way. I tried to write plays, but the reason it didn’t work is because I hadn’t seen or read enough plays. The albums I’ve listened to in the genre of American singer-songwriters hitting the road is innumerable. I feel really comfortable speaking that language.”

Developing on ideas and themes he was originally attempting to express in a play he was writing called “Austin Fish,” Pug began writing the songs that would later become his first EP, Nation of Heat. The songs were recorded at a local Chicago studio, where a friend snuck him in to record during late night slots that other musicians had cancelled. In 2009, after Pug self-released Nation of Heat, he began shipping fans 2-song sampler CDs to pass along to their friends. The unconventional promotional strategy was a success, resulting in Pug sending out over 15,000 samplers and Nation of Heat selling over 20,000 copies. As Pug later recalled on his website:

“People requested 2 copies, 5 copies, 10 copies, 20 copies. We’d send them all. We even covered the postage. Suddenly we’d be rolling into towns that we’d never been before and there would be crowds there who knew the songs. Our fans essentially became like a radio station for us, and they still are.”

The EP was a critical success, drawing comparisons to the work of Bob Dylan and Josh Ritter. “Hymn #101,” Nation of Heat’s opening song, drew special attention, being spotlighted on NPR’s Second Stage music blog.

Joe Pug has released two EPs, as well as the albums Messenger, The Great Despiser, Windfall, The Flood in Color, and The Diving Sun.