Basic Folk podcast, eps. 252 – Joe Pug

Joe Pug will not engage in the Left-Brained Vs Right-Brained debate. Why? Because he believes in the value of both. His pragmatic business approach and his passionate songwriting unite in his new album, Sketch of a Promised Departure. Pug also has stayed ahead of the curve and created an ecosystem where self-reliance, growth, and music business thrive; this “ecosystem,” “The Nation of Heat Vault,” has every album, podcast, and newsletter up behind a paywall. In our interview, we dig into his creative process, artistic balance and family life while creating his latest project.

Sketch of a Promised Departure was made on his own time at his new home studio (which he’s been working on for a decade). He reflects that having complete control over the music production brought him immense relief and joy; he was, he says, able to take as long as he wanted to create the project.

We go through several songs on the album, remarking on songs like “Then the Rain,” which shines in its simplicity just like many of Lucinda Williams songs, one of his biggest inspirations. We also talk about his life journey into adulthood when he moved to Chicago, which is a chapter in his life he is writing about in detail on the new album. He talks about what he hopes for his own young kids’ futures and how parenting has changed since he first became a dad seven or eight years ago. And of course, we talk about his fantastic podcast, The Working Songwriter and how being an interviewer has changed his attitude about being the interviewee.


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