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Pug Johnson
©2010 Independently released
Review by Lucky Boyd,

Pug Johnson takes a break from his duties as front man for Slow Rollin’ Lows to assemble an homage grandee to his lineage, particularly those family members who had a lasting effect on Pug’s life.  There are songs in tribute to some and songs directly inspired by others.  The liner notes of the album delineate the connection for each track.  If you didn’t know about Johnson’s inspiration for the project, you would still view it as a well-produced ballad-rich offering that showcases his passion and insight as well as his adept songwriting skills.  Primarily an acoustic offering, and not laden with commercial aspirations, the disc is a Pug Johnson fan’s companion in the greatest sense.  A very good solo project can always help a band’s popularity, and this one is no different.  Fans of SRL will enjoy this softer side of Johnson and of course the gentler gender will be aroused by Pug’s familial sensitivity and will be quickly endeared to him because of it.  In other words, Mom, you can forget imposing a curfew on this young Texan; he’s about to become an enriched mainstay of Texas music and the target of young husband-hunters.  Those who are seeking a slick release fraught with Nashville tricks and forced lyrics, prepare yourself for something else.  This is an artistic release with personal ties; an album that few artists ever get to make.  All in all, it will be a boost to Johnson’s career and will beef up his discography, but in earnest, Johnson should take the success in stride and get right back to the business of taking Slow Rollin’ Lows to new heights.  After listening to the disc a few times, you’ll develop favorites.  The hymn-like “Sacred River” opens the disc and sets a tone of traditional conservatism that is rarely strayed from throughout.  The best songwriting here is “Broken Home” and a fully orchestrated and radio-arranged version of this song could be a commercial hit.  A close second is “Something To Say” which could garner a great deal of air play as is.  With this disc, Pug Johnson proves that he is a force to be reckoned with in Texas music.  He may look back on it as the most introspective release of his career.  This record is a solid landing on the stairway to wherever Pug wants to go. 

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Pug Johnson