The album Windfall, is the third from Joe Pug, but for Bluesdoodles this is a first – so downloaded and listened to the album with open ears and no preconceptions, and I was rewarded with a collection of songs that are full of compassion, melancholy and they wrap you in a mood blanket that you need to listen to at Goldilocks volume neither too loud or hushed. His lyrics reflect this observation Veteran Fighter with the melancholy wail of the harp and deep drone of the bass make this a track that takes you many places this literary journey is a vehicle used throughout the album as his lyrics take you to places as he explores feelings of hope, hurt and love with a twist of positivity. The positive twists are achieved not through luck of a windfall but through diligence, honesty and work, this ethos is reflected on tracks such as The Measure and Burn & Shine with its upbeat country feel.
Stand out tracks for me are Great Hosannas that is a jigsaw of images that Joe pulls together into an array of imagery that is a decoupage of sound and pictures through the power of voice and music, a track that is full of the reflective qualities of this album full of soul. Another favourite is O My Cheasapeake an autobiographical tale that highlights the skills of Joe as a singer/songwriter he is a singer of songs and a teller of tales, a modern troubadour delivering modern folk that is relevant and fixes us in the moment of now whilst hooking into the span of musical tradition taking us back to the mist of time to our earliest memories.
Closing the album, If I Still Can’t Be Found pulls the album together as he sings of the fortitude needed to keep moving on, walking on never in vain but hope and Wilco’s Pat Sansone on Mellotron and the sound that is distinctive and recognizable since the Beatles used one.
There is no doubt that Windfall is the brightest and tastiest windfall fruit of the season as the songs have an accomplished fell with artful blending of musical tones that underpin the narration of the song, Joe Pug’s vocal ranges are perfect for this style of material and his interpretation of a style that loosely can be called Americana but reality is this is American Folk songs about life’s journeys, the good, bad, happy & sad. An excellent album full of skillful composition and a dexterity of sound from an artist full of confidence, belief and passion ensuring the enduring authenticity of lyrical composition and musical delivery.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD NINE doodle paws out of TEN ….