Published Mar 21, 2014It's a shame Chuck Ragan hasn't achieved the success of many of the people that were inspired by him. A punk rock mainstay in Hot Water Music and for his work with the Revival Tour, Ragan's solo material has somehow slid under the radar. With Till Midnight, his fourth solo album, that all needs to change.
Including longtime cohorts Jon Gaunt on fiddle and Joe Ginsburg on bass, the ten-song album is a triumph in folk rock Americana; having Social Distortion drummer David Hidalgo, Jr., Lucero guitarist Todd Beene, a cast of recognizable characters on guest vocals, and Blind Melon's Christopher Thorn at the production helm only helps matters. "Non-Typical," featuring Revival regular Jenny O, is a swinging, fist-pumping anthem with handclaps and soaring melodies. Think the best John Cougar songs mixed with Ragan's patented chewing-on-gravel, rough-and-tumble, deep-from-the-diaphragm rumblings.
"Revved," the closest thing here to an acoustic Hot Water Music song, shows Ragan's love for punk rock always shining through. Meanwhile, more pensive tracks such as "You and I Alone" and "Wake With You" — both written for his wife, who is a frequent inspiration to a lot of these tunes — are heart-wrenching love songs that only a lumberjack-ish fellow like Ragan could pull off.
Read an interview with Chuck Ragan here. (Dine Alone)