Concert Preview: Joe Pug at The State Room

If you were at the Steve Earle show at The State Room a couple weeks ago, or at the Old 97’s show at Urban last weekend—may I humbly suggest you get yourself to Joe Pug at The State Room on Thursday night. You see—they’re all connected.

The story goes that Old 97’s frontman Miller took a shine to Pug when Pug opened for the 97’s—and then introduced him to Earle, who invited him to tour with him and gave Pug what he calls a “masterclass” in music as they toured the globe.

Pug, though critically acclaimed and often aptly compared to the songwriting greats—Dylan, Prine, Zevon, still finds the kind of fame that his teacher has elusive, despite exhaustive touring. In fact, he took a brief break from touring to get back in touch with his love of music. He’s back now with a newfound love of his craft and citing new influences—Ryan Adams, Josh Ritter (who plays The State Room Friday night) and M Ward. The result is a more lively but still erudite (in all the best ways) addition to his catalog.

And as for his songwriting and his connection to other artists, I heartily recommend you give his podcast, The Working Songwriter, a listen. There you’ll hear him interview the likes of Joe Ely and Tift Merritt about their songwriting processes.

Pug plays The State Room on Thursday, August 17. Tickets available here.

Christie Marcy
Christie Marcy
Christie Marcy is a former managing editor at Salt Lake magazine. Though she writes about everything, she has a particular interest in arts and culture in Utah. In the summer months, you will find her at any given outdoor concert on any given night. In the winter, you will find her wishing for summer. Follow her on social media at @whynotboth.

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