On the two songs, which you really should listen to or download below, Pug and Strand of Oaks cover each other, and sound wholly at home in doing so. Pug gives his instantly identifiable, post-Guthrie, North Carolina-raised twang to the Oaks' song "End in Flames," and the line "Thought I was too old to have dreams like this / covers thrown on the floor / sweat stains my lips" seems to resonate with his own experience.
In return, Strand of Oaks tackle one of Pug's best-known (as in maybe 12 people know it by heart, but how well they surely know it) songs: "Hymn #101." Bathed in reverb and doubled vocals, the song, a wanderer's socio-political hymn, becomes something majestic.
Joe Pug and Strand of Oaks will be making a stop in St. Louis this spring. May 3, 2011 at Off Broadway. It will be sweet to hear them perform these covers live.