Chicago’s Joe Pug dropped out of playwriting school the day before his senior year, packing up his car and heading to Chicago. Working a carpentry job and writing songs, he quickly churned out an EP, Nation of Heat. An innovative marketing scheme that sent copies of the record to anyone that asked gained him some traction. Tours with Steve Earle, his son Justin Townes Earle, and Josh Ritter helped fuel the fire for Messenger, his latest release. His folk troubadour style recalls Woody Guthrie and a young Bob Dylan, while aligning him with contemporaries like The Low Anthem and Langhorne Slim.