Singer-songwriter Joe Pug [nee Pugliese] thought he was going to write plays for a living, but just before he started his senior year, he bailed from the University of North Carolina, headed to Chicago and started writing songs. Many of them were spawned from a play he’d been working on called Austin Fish. He released his first EP, 2008’s Nation of Heat, just two weeks after headlining Chicago’s venerated Schubas. NPR has compared him to Bob Dylan and John Prine — and that was even before he’d released a full-length debut.
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