Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Album Review: 'Till Midnight' by Chuck Ragan

Title:  Till Midnight (SideOneDummy Records, Amazon, iTunes, Interpunk)
Artist:  Chuck Ragan (Official, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Last.fm, AllMusic, Wikipedia)

Chuck Ragan’s fourth proper studio album Till Midnight is a heartfelt journey of passion from America’s greatest living storyteller.  Ragan’s journey to master troubadour started in the Florida punk scene over 20 years ago as one of the voices behind the seminal band Hot Water Music.  In the mid 2000s the band went on hiatus and Ragan refocused his music in a roots direction, creating simple songs on his acoustic guitar.  The stripped down approach brought a renewed passion to Ragan’s songwriting, allowing new avenues to open up to his gravelly voice.  Till Midnight is a record that brings the love song to the forefront, making nearly the entire record an ode to the heart.  Ragan’s unique perspective and take on this well trodden territory is as refreshing as it is honest and earnest.  Where his previous album Covering Ground was conceived to mirror Ragan’s live sound (especially as seen on the Revival Tour), Till Midnight brings a full band to the table and the extra instrumentation helps carry these songs to a full and vibrant life mixing elements of country, folk, and roots rock.  The bottom line is this: Chuck Ragan is a freaking genius and everything he touches is solid gold and Till Midnight is no different. 

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