Joe Pug: The Big Picture

[caption id="attachment_148278" align="alignnone" width="600"] photo by Dusdin Condren[/caption] The centerpiece of Windfall, the new album by Chicago singer-songwriter Joe Pug, is a beautiful, worried tune called “Great Hosannas,” which features a hymnlike melody and some of his most evocative lyrics. Drawing out his syllables like dying breaths and blowing on a harmonica like it’s a church organ, he runs through a list of buzzwords and catchphrases, from the corporate (“paid compassion, sponsored mercy”) to the banal (“payday lenders, closet smokers”) to something akin to suburban surrealism (“floodlights trained on open faucets”). The verses are animated by an almost palpable sense of dread, yet in finding the courage to face an uncertain future, Pug finds some hope that he can make it better. Flip the lights out. Turn the water off. The song’s original title was “Dogshit Fragment #69.” When he wrote it, Pug didn't have much faith in the tune. “That one came about in a much different way than most of my songs come about,” he says with a laugh. “Greg Tuohey, the guy who plays guitar in my band, was writing a jazz instrumental album, so we agreed to do this thing to spur both of us to…

To view this content,

Join Today

or Sign In

The Benefits of Membership:

  • Subscription to the American Songwriter Print Magazine
  • Access to all Feature Magazine Content Online
  • Access to Print Edition Archives
  • Premium content in our Songwriter U section
  • Discounts on vinyl, Songwriter services, and other American Songwriter Partners
  • Exclusive access to members-only contests and giveaways
Click to Join

We've started an American Songwriter membership! Click here to learn more.