rtb and I headed back to the Hudson Square Music & Wine Festival held behind City Winery with the loading dock acting as the stage. It was raining on and off all day but luckily it held off during the performance.
NYC singer/songwriter Brian Dunne opened the show. Dunne played acoustic guitar and was accompanied by Ken Yates (acoustic guitar) and James Preston (electric bass). Yates has his own solo career and was playing at the Living Room in Brooklyn after the City Winery show. The songs were pleasant enough and the opening act has a short set so it was nice way to get us in the mood.
The space had filled up by the time Joe Pug hit the stage with his acoustic guitar and was joined by Matt Schuessler (upright bass) and Greg Tuohey (electric guitar). Pug played an engaging set. There were songs from the new album and familiar songs (“The Great Despiser” “Nation of Heat” “I Do My Father’s Drugs” “Hymn #101”). There was a solo set by Pug and an encore of “Speak Plainly, Diana.” There was a funny moment when the bassist was mouthing the first chorus of “Diana” and forgot that it’s a shortened chorus (as I always do) and he almost missed his cue. Since it’s a short set, Pug didn’t speak as much and he let the music do all the talking for him. But when he does speak, it’s usually amusing. It’s been fun to watch Pug grow as a performer. He’s so comfortable in front of an audience and he’s written some great songs. The songs are personal and sometimes political without being overbearing and you couldn’t do a lot better if you wanted to introduce a new artist onto your playlist.
By Carene Lydia Lopez