Newsletter–September Edition

Friends,

Fall is rolling in and our new album is rolling forward.  We just received the album back from mastering last week and we’re close to confirming the details for the release this winter. Until then I’ll be playing a few shows across the country, including a birthday party for a musical hero, Billy Joe Shaver, at the Paramount in Austin and also Newport Folk Festival’s west coast edition, Way Over Yonder in Santa Monica.

In the meantime, scroll down for other more news from HQ, including a new edition of “Haunts” that ponders the notion of tacos in the state of Arizona.

Can’t wait for you to hear the new tunes, hope to see you out on the road soon.

Yours in music,
Joe


Deadman’s Town–A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen

I’m extremely honored to have a song on this album, alongside a stellar group of artists including Jason Isbell, Blitzen Trapper and Low among many others.  It was released this week on Lightning Rod Records and you can and should check it out here.

Haunts

When I first started playing gigs in Phoenix, it seemed just an endless hell-scape of Quiznos and Cold Stone Creameries.  I sometimes thought of it as a picture of every American city time-lapsed another 20 years.  But you don’t really know a place until you’ve got friends there.  At which point it becomes apparent that what you took to be a city’s essence is actually just a few square miles of cultural flotsam that the locals steer clear of.

Now many Phoenicians will tell you to get your Mexican food at a place called Filiberto’s.  Fuck that place.  If Hardee’s was a local taco chain, it would be Filiberto’s.  They deal in violent heartburn, indigestion, and shame.

Where you want to eat is America’s Taco Shop. Not named for it’s location but rather for it’s proprietress, America Corrales, this place was a regular haunt for some Phoenix Symphony musicians that I befriended many years ago.  They appear to be franchising now, so I can’t really speak to the quality of any far-flung outposts, but the original shops in Phoenix are uniformly great.  Their specialty is a tostada-like dish called a Vampiro. And they always have a selection of great Aguas Frescas to accompany them.

The Big Ask

You people clearly love your hats.  As we work on new merch items for the upcoming release, one thing that will definitely be keeping its esteemed place on the well-lit table at the back of the room are the logo hats.  They are without question the item we have the hardest time keeping in stock, so get while the getting is good and we’ll keep cranking them out.

The Thacker Chronicles

Last time I was through Nashville I got to chance to sit down for a lengthy interview with Eldon Thacker for his show The Thacker Chronicles.  You can check out the resulting video here.

Pug Recommends

“HEAL” by Strand of Oaks — In 2011 we crossed the country on a 10-week marathon tour with Strand of Oaks.  In fact, on our live album “Live at Lincoln Hall”, Tim plays one of his signature songs “Leave Ruin” in the encore.   It was, personally and artistically, a watershed experience for me.  I learned a lot from and became close friends with the group’s frontman and mastermind, Tim Showalter.  His new album is quite a departure from the ruminative, indie-folk that once distinguished his sound.  It’s a rush of emotive, guitar driven rock.  What remains the same though is Tim’s piercing and evocative songwriting.  Frankly, I’m proud to know the man.  Download this album now and catch him while he’s on tour this fall with his great new band.