David Wax Museum and Joe Pug at Linneman’s
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David Wax Museum combines traditional Mexican music and indie-folk sounds into one exuberant package. The band, featuring David Wax and Suz Slezak with a rotating ensemble of backing musicians, is heavily influenced by Wax’s experiences working summers in Mexico during his college years. Wax incorporated the sounds of Mexican son music into his American roots-inspired songs. In addition to Wax’s accompaniment on the guitar-like Mexican jarana, the band’s instrumentation includes accordions and donkey-jawbone percussion. After winning a contest to perform at the 2010 Newport Folk Festival, David Wax Museum began to make a breakthrough to the national scene. The band’s 2011 release, Everything Is Saved, has won praise from The New Yorker, Paste Magazine, and NPR, among others. A new album, Knock Knock Get Up, will be released Sept. 4.
Given how deeply Austin-based singer-songwriter Joe Pug (né Joe Pugliese) steeps his music in the traditions of Americana, it’s only appropriate that the mush-mouthed plucker chose a Johnny Appleseed-esque method to spread his soulful folk. Pug offered to mail a two-song sampler CD to fans, free of charge, on the condition that they then pass it in on to a friend. It was a savvy method of inspiring word of mouth—not that word of weary troubadours like Pug travels any other way. In a fragile voice with just the slightest hint of a twang, Pug sings the songs of the next generation of restless Americans on his new LP, The Great Despiser. They may not be mythic figures like Appleseed, but they’re definitely relatable.