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Upcoming shows: Ultimate Painting... Meilyr Jones... Skinny Lister... Vinny Peculiar... Freakwater... Angel Olsen... Simone Felice... Stephen Steinbrink... Jenny Hval... Tom Brosseau... Public Service Broadcasting... Peter Broderick... Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker... Amber Arcades... Haley Bonar... Emanuel and The Fear... Merchandise... The Wave Pictures... Alabaster DePlume... The Lovely Eggs... Will Varley... Avec Sans... Kristin Hersh... Ryley Walker... BC Camplight... Robert Ellis... Steve Gunn... Man & The Echo... Weyes Blood... Jesca Hoop... Beans on Toast... Whyte Horses... The Burning Hell... The Handsome Family...

When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 18 September 2013
Where: The Kings Arms, 11 Bloom Street, Salford M3 6AN

We’re excited to be welcoming back Joe Pug.

It’s been four years since Joe Pug quit his day job as a carpenter, but his remarkable rise in the music world has been driven by the same hard-worn work ethic. His path has been an unusual one, which has often challenged the traditional rulebook of the music industry, but even now, after the release of his second album The Great Despiser, it has always been characterised by one prevailing idea: find a way.

After dropping out of college the day before he was to start his senior year, he moved to Chicago and picked up the guitar he hadn’t played since his teenage years. The songs that he wrote would eventually become the Nation of Heat EP, a self-released gem that has gone on to sell over 20,000 copies. It was in those heady early days that the idea was born for a unique promotional strategy that would launch Pug into the national consciousness. In an increasingly fragmented and disorganised music industry, it was harder and harder for a new artist to break through the white noise. 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 to anyone who wanted to share his music with their friends. And share they did. While skyrocketing demand eventually forced a switch over to a digital version, the offer remains to this day at joepugmusic.com, and has been downloaded over 30,000 times.

The momentum attracted the attention of Nashville indie label Lightning Rod Records, who signed Pug and released his full-length debut Messenger in 2010. The album was met with critical acclaim, with Paste Magazine saying ‘Unless your surname is Dylan, Waits, Ritter or Prine, you could face-palm yourself to death trying to pen songs half as inspired as the 10 tracks on Joe Pug’s debut full-length’. It featured plenty of the literate acoustic tracks that he was best known for, but an electric remake of Speak Plainly Diana, which was done acoustically on his first EP, provided some foreshadowing of direction he would later head. He toured incessantly behind the album, which included appearances at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and the Newport Folk Fest as well as tours with Josh Ritter and Levon Helm. A higher profile did nothing to dull his independent streak, though. He experimented extensively with ticketing his shows directly with very low service fees, and often none at all.

In 2011 Pug was lured to Austin, Texas by its storied songwriting tradition. The first album that he wrote there, ironically, would be recorded in Chicago at Engine Recording Studio with producer Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Iron & Wine, Califone, etc). In addition to Pug, second record The Great Despiser features various acclaimed musicians, including Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter, Langhorne Slim) on piano, organ and marimba, Califone’s Jim Becker on guitar, as well as backing vocals from The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn on the album’s title track.

Support comes from The Susie Jones Band. Susie Jones, described as a rare individual in the music business’ by Americana UK, along with her band perform ‘songs of tender innocence and youthful experience,’ says Froots Magazine. Skilfully blending traditional and self-penned material, Susie and her band find a natural transatlantic roots’ based folk sound with a down-to-earth northern charm, which creates a dynamic and modern approach to folk music. As a performer and artist she has the power to command a room and charm an audience with ease – listen to her latest release, Come My Way, on her website.

This show takes place at The Kings Arms, one of our favourite small venues in town. It’s a great independent theatre and arts hub, which also happens to be one of the best real ale pubs around, and is just a five-minute walk from Deansgate, just down Bridge Street.

Buy tickets now with no booking fee. Tickets are also available from Common (no booking fee), Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange, Seetickets.comWeGotTickets.com, Ticketabc.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

Attend on: Facebook | Last.fm

All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.

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