Half a year ago, I had three beers with a wise, up-and-coming Austin musician at a dimly lit dive bar. That evening, we talked about life, philosophy, and, of course, music. I asked him, “How will you know when your band has ‘made it’?” Without hesitating, he responded, “When we land a gig at The Parish, my friend.” I laughed, which was apparently an inappropriate response because he was quite serious, a fact he made very clear by staring directly into my eyes for a very long five seconds. At that moment I knew The Parish was the real deal.
It takes hard work and dedication to break into a lineup at a premier Austin venue, and few artists have put more effort toward that objective than Chicago-born singer-songwriter Joe Pug, who will be playing The Parish weekend. It’s been a long road for Pug, to say the least. After dropping out of college and working tirelessly as a carpenter, Pug answered his true calling by picking up the guitar he’d neglected since he was a teenager and began writing relentlessly. Before long, he had put together his first EP. With no publicist and no access to radio, Pug decided to recruit his fans to help spread the word. He took his most popular songs, printed up CDs, and offered to send them free of charge (he even paid for the postage) to anyone who wanted to share his music with their friends. Share they did, and the Pug fan base grew exponentially. “Our guiding principle has always been: if we take care of the fans, they’ll take care of us,” says Pug. The rest, as they say, is history.
Looking back, Joe Pug’s rise in the music world has been nothing short of remarkable—highlighted by appearances at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and the Newport Folk Fest—and THIS SATURDAY (4/21) Pug will be making his way over to The Parish for an intimate show with guests Bailiff and Reed Turner!
Ever since moving to Austin in 2011, Pug has been taking in the 512’s music-obsessed culture and drawing endless amounts of inspiration for his second full-length album. The result is “The Great Despiser”, produced by Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Iron & Wine, Califone, etc) and scheduled to hit stores April 24, 2012. Be sure to check it out.
As promised, Do512 will be giving away free tickets to this amazing show! Visit the Do512 event page and click “I like it” for a chance to win!