Friday, March 9, 2012

Joe Pug | The Great Despiser

Joe Pug has done a clever thing in using Shawn Stuckey's artwork on his CD covers and his website. Not only is it beautiful, but when we received his new album this week and I saw that familiar style on the cover drawing, I knew Joe was back in town.

"The Great Despiser", which will be released April 24th, is the follow-up to 2010's "Messenger". Here's Joe baring his soul once again with his resonant, somewhat mournful vocal delivery and beautifully straightforward guitar finger-picking and strumming. He communicates the importance of the songs he's written through his unwavering commitment to every note. About half of the songs have full band arrangements and it's great to hear Joe rock out. He keeps a balance, though, and doesn't forsake the winning simplicity of just his voice and guitar.

I listened back to an interview I did with Joe backstage at Newport Folk 2009 and his performance from that same year. Something to keep you going until the album is released in April...

Click here for the interview

Click here for the Newport Folk performance

Friday, March 2, 2012

Adam Cohen | Like A Man

When it was finished, Adam Cohen brought his new album to his father. "Listen Dad, don't play the record while I'm here," he said. Leonard Cohen called his son the next day and told him he had listened to the record. "It took me to a place where nothing else matters," the elder Cohen said, "I'm so proud of you, and you're record should be called 'Like A Man'." And it is.

Adam released two solo albums, his self-titled solo debut in 1998 and "Melancolista", sung almost entirely in French, in 2004. His band Low Millions released "Ex-Girlfriends" late in 2004.

With this new release, Adam Cohen comes of age and embraces his legacy. He calls it a homage to his father and a recognition that he is indeed in the "family business." Adam "consulted" his father through his music and wants his son, Cassius (pictured above with Leonard and Adam), to be able to do the same.

***Side note--I met Adam around the time of the release of "Ex-Girlfriends" in Boulder, CO. We sat down for an interview under a small shelter outside a hotel in a rainstorm. And after his performance that night at The Fox, I ran into him in the theater lobby and he told me he was starving. He didn't seem to know where the closest source of food was, but I did. So went across the street to bought him a slice of pizza.

I've always remembered these two "meetings", because he was so warm and completely present. The setting of that interview (rain falling, just the two of us under that shelter) took me to a place where nothing else mattered. He seems to have this effect on people. And I've never seen anyone so happy to be offered a slice of pizza.