For decades, singer-songwriter Chuck Ragan has been acclaimed as an earnest working class hero for the underground music scene. As leading frontman for the celebrated group Hot Water Music, Ragan has gained praise over the years for the band’s heavy-hitting chords, along with their heartfelt anthems, which have stood the test of time in the eyes of the punk community. While Hot Water Music still remained in the spotlight since their reunion in 2007 by consistently releasing new material and relentless touring, Ragan has remained true to his passionate roots by reaching higher states as a solo musician as well.
Straying away from his explosive sound, Ragan has put out solid full-lengths like Feast Or Famine and Covering Ground that introduced cult HWM lovers to a refreshing and introspective folk rock-inspired outlet that perfectly complemented his punk rock esthetics. To add to his extensive anthology, Ragan releases his forthcoming record, Till Midnight, his first follow-up since his 2011 effort, Covering Ground.
What makes Ragan’s work stand out in comparison to his previous work is the fact that his instrumental approach would make you feel as if you’re listening to a classic Hot Water Music album that replaced its intensity with a wholesome acoustic style. These defining qualities are sincerely admired through singles like “Non Typical,” “You And I Alone,” “Something May Catch Fire” and “Revved,” which provide eccentric varieties that transcends from lighthearted punk qualities to tranquil elements of traditional bluegrass and folk rock.
Till Midnight truly provides an energetic arrangement of diversity that colorfully showcases Ragan’s musicianship. Once again, Ragan established himself as a genuine solo act with an arsenal full of vibrant influences at his disposal. Cherishing his jubilant spirit, Ragan continues to captivate listeners with his soulful raspy voice with admirable unplugged hymns. This album is a must-have for any beloved HWM fanatic.
In A Word: Sincere