Joe Pug

Joe Pug

Justin Jones

Fri Jun 1

Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$20.00 - $25.00

This event is all ages

For any wheelchair or ADA needs, please contact the Box Office in advance of the performance at (443) 283-1200.

 

Joe Pug
Joe Pug
If the opening notes on Joe Pug’s new LP “Windfall” are a bit disorienting, his fans won’t likely be surprised. The Austin, TX singer songwriter has made a habit of defying expectations so the piano-driven “Bright Beginnings” and the atmospheric rumination of “Great Hosannas” are just further indication that he’s quite comfortable stepping outside of the guy-with-a-guitar trappings of the genre.

His rise has been as improbable as it has been impressive. After dropping out of college and taking on work as a carpenter in Chicago, he got his musical start by providing CDs for his fans to pass along to their friends. This led to a string of sold out shows and a record deal with Nashville indie Lightning Rod Records (Jason Isbell, Billy Joe Shaver). As he toured behind “Messenger” (2010) and The Great Despiser (2012) it was with a band that looked as much like a jazz trio as an Americana band. “I never quite found a live band that captured what I was aiming for until I connected with Greg [Tuohey–electric guitar] and Matt [Schuessler–upright bass]. It was an arrangement that maybe didn’t make a ton of sense on paper but 10 minutes into the first rehearsal I knew this was going to be my band.” The following years would have them on the road for over four hundred shows, including stops at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and The Newport Folk Festival.

The relentless grind of four years of nonstop touring had taken its toll though, and by late 2013 he was ready to call it quits. The tour that fall was a runaway success but his personal and creative lives were a different story. “It was this surreal dichotomy. Everyone kept congratulating me on how well the tour was going, and the mood was probably the best it had ever been on the road. We finally got two hotel rooms in each city instead of one. We’ve got this incredible group of die-hard fans that somehow make each show bigger than our previous trip through town. Meanwhile my relationship was in shambles and creatively I was at a dead end. There was absolutely no joy left in playing music. So we walked off stage after a particular show when I played terribly, and pulled my manager aside in the green room and told him to cancel the rest of the tour dates and that I was essentially through.”

But studio time was already scheduled and deadlines had been set for a new record, so after a few weeks Pug was back to the business of writing songs. “In retrospect, I was in a very unhealthy place. I was sitting in a room with the blinds shut and a notebook, forcing out words that weren’t there and drinking astonishing amounts of bourbon. I was looking at it as a job….as a business obligation, and that is a very slippery slope.” At that point he decided to make good on his promise from the previous tour. The album was put on indefinite hold. “I just needed to start behaving like a human being again. I needed to reconnect with my girlfriend. I needed to eat healthy food. I needed to go enjoy live music as a fan. I really needed to make sure I still loved making music, because I really had my doubts at that point.”
The resulting layoff paid dividends in spades. When Pug set up camp in Lexington KY in 2014 to record, he did so with some of the best songs he has ever written. The agenda was much simpler than previous albums. “The aim on this one was very straightforward. We wanted to capture the music just the way we play it, with minimal production. It was a very back to basics approach because ultimately that’s what I love about music, and that’s what I love about making music. I wanted to record these songs the way they were written and put them out in the world.” The result is a collection of songs that are as close as we’ve gotten to a road map to Pug’s ambitions. He has collected plenty of the requisite Dylan comparisons over his young career but on this record it’s easier to hear the sway of more contemporary influences like Josh Ritter, Ryan Adams and M.Ward.

The theme of resilience plays a central role throughout Windfall. The weary protagonist in “Veteran Fighter” wills his way further down the highway despite the gloom that seems certain to overtake him. “The Measure”, a song inspired in part by Frederic Buechner’s novel Godric, marvels at “every inch of anguish, laid out side by side” but ultimately finds that “All we’ve lost is nothing to what we’ve found.” “I never really write songs with a specific narrative in mind,” Pug explains. “When you’re sort of pushing through a dark period of your life it’s probably inevitable that some of that is going to find its way onto the page. But in the same way, by the time we were in the studio the process had become very effortless and joyful. And hopefully you can hear a lot of that on the record as well.” This duality appears perhaps most overtly in the album-closing stunner “If Still It Can’t Be Found”, which features Pat Sansone of Wilco guesting on mellotron.

If it’s not around this corner it’s around the next
If it’s not beyond this river it’s beyond the next
And if still it can’t be found
It’s prob’ly for the best

As the saying goes, “All’s well that ends well.” Joe Pug didn’t call it quits after all. He’s engaged to be married and still drinks bourbon on occasion. His new album, Windfall, will be released March 10, 2015 on Lightning Rod Records in the US and Loose Music in Europe.
Justin Jones
Justin Jones
“I was raised on blues and soul music. When I look at the core of myself, my name is Luther and I’m a 68-year-old black guy with one green eye and a couple gold teeth and I play harmonica in a blues band that plays at a dump in the ghetto. Nobody comes to the gigs, and I’ll have played there my whole life—like, five days a week my band plays there. One night, Keith Richards is in town and he comes in and jams with me. Word gets around and someone recorded it and then that record gets released, and I die the day before it gets released. When it’s released, it’s the biggest blues hit since Stevie Ray Vaughan. On the inside, that’s what I look like.”

Justin Jones is “rock and roll….No Auto-Tune, no gimmicks—just a songwriter with a guitar and a crack band,” says The Vinyl District’s Jennifer Carney. With a musical career that spans more than a decade, Virginia native Justin Jones is taking his soul-stirring brand of rock and roll on the road for his I Can Feel It Tour 2013 of the U.S.

Weaned on the sounds of southern soul, blues, and rock, Jones started playing open mic nights in Charlottesville near his hometown in his early teens. His first album, Blue Dreams - recorded in 2004, is the cornerstone of what turns out to be this prolific singer-songwriter’s catalog of albums, including Love Versus Heroin, I Am the Song of the Drunkards, and The Little Fox, that express both the lows and highs of love and life. “The songs I write and the music my band and I play, in my mind, is quintessentially American... It lives and breathes in the landscape that is America… sometimes soulful and sometimes stark… sometimes hard and sometimes lush. I like to think I write beautiful songs about death, sad songs about love, and hopeful songs about life. What I consider a kind of secular spiritual music.” Fading Light, Justin’s fifth album, was released in 2012. Produced by Jamie Candiloro, best known for his work with Ryan Adams and R.E.M., Fading Light is a collection of songs written over a two-year stretch.

In 2012, Jones took his emotionally charged live show on the road. His busiest tour to date, Jones and his band played 130 shows across North America, including stops at Virgin Mobile Festival, Floyd Festival, and the Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL). It is no wonder Speakers in Code names Justin Jones one of the top-ten performances at ACL 2012, and Bob Boilen of NPR’s All Songs Considered lists Justin Jones “as one of the top performances of the year.” And all signs point to Justin Jones surpassing this momentum in 2013, with a new album and documentary on the way, an upcoming U.S. tour, and talk of a European debut.
Venue Information:
The Soundry
10221 Wincopin Circle
Columbia, MD, 21044