Joe Pug is one of those DIY, courageous without-a-net artists that we love: He dropped out of college, and quit his job as a carpenter, to pursue his music passion full-time. This included recording and printing up his first CD's and giving them away to anyone who wanted to share his music with their friends. "People requested 2 copies, 5 copies, 10 copies, 20 copies. We'd send them all.
It's no wonder Pete Seeger has been hailed as the father of American folk music. From spreading his passion for the banjo and traditional mountain tunes (both of which he discovered at Asheville's Mountain Dance & Folk Festival at age 16), to providing much of the soundtrack of the Civil Rights Movement, to co-founding the Newport Folk Festival, Seeger led us all in a global sing-along for some 70+ years. WNCW will honor his legacy with this collection of Newport recordings from 1963-65 on Monday night.
Rosanne Cash has had a complex relationship with the South. The Memphis-born daughter of AR's Johnny Cash, step-daughter of VA's June Carter Cash, and ex-wife of Nashville's "Houston Kid" Rodney Crowell, she grew up in CA, started her music career in Europe, and has spent the last few decades living in NY. But her roots and love for the South remain strong, as is clear in these new songs (and in a wonderfully written Oxford American article).
She wowed us -- as well as NPR, Rolling Stone, Afropunk, and others -- last year with her terrific release Pushin' Against a Stone. "You Can't Be Told" and "Workin' Woman Blues" in particular got heavy airplay here. If you can't picture her sound yet, this Tennessee native fits somewhere between Dolly Parton and Billie Holiday, with a powerful electrified indie-blues groove. Tune in for Valerie June with Joe Kendrick this Tuesday.