Nation Of Heat – Joe Pug

Joe Pug kicks out a good line in Americana folk with something to say. He’s a disciple of the Neil Young and Grateful Dead school of rock, who throws out couplets like ‘If I didn’t own boots, I wouldn’t need feet’ and ‘We got two dollar soldiers and ten dollar words’ when he’s critiquing his country. Joe Pug is furious at the America he finds on this track.

‘Sometimes we hear whispers by the dark of the moon, that we promised to much and gave it too soon’ Joe gets into the underbelly of the underclass in the dustbowl states. He describes ‘The straw hatted man rowing away from the shore who says ‘it’s a shame they don’t let you have slaves here any more” as ‘The ugliest mother that you’ll ever meet’. The stark harmonica riffing over the hard strummed acoustic makes a compelling case.

Mainly his ire is directed at the powers that be who’re responsible for what has come to pass. ‘I seen skeleton mothers and hungry folks cross the street to cook dinner for who need it the most’. ‘Even our coughs and our fevers compete, I come from the nation of heat’

This track is taken from In The Meantime an EP which Joe put out around 2007. It’s an angrier affair than the only other record of his I’ve tracked down. His equally fantastic long player The Great Despiser. Another one of his records which I thoroughly recommend.

‘Blocking borders with smiles are Immigrant Sons, We measure loneliness in miles and misery in tons’ Poverty and division reigns in The Nation Of Heat. ‘We got billboards for love and Japanese cards, it ain’t rare to hear the streetlights call themselves stars’.

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