Sunday, July 19, 2015

Song Of The Week: 7/19/15

Song: "Before Dust"

Artist: Chuck Ragan

Album: "Kindred Spirit" (split EP w/ Rocky Votolato)

Year: 2015

Place Of Origin: Gainesville, Florida

Years Active: 1993-present


It's a bit difficult for me to describe what I think "Before Dust" is about because I can't find the lyrics to the song anywhere on the net. After listening several times, I can pick up a few things. "Before Dust" could be a Biblical reference referring to a time before God created the Earth. Possibly, it could be a reference to life in the Great Plains before the devastating dust storms basically gutted people's crops and destroyed their livelihood between the years 1932 and 1939. Perhaps if I ever stumble across the official lyrics to "Before Dust" I will come back and edit this post with a better idea of what the song may be about.

CHUCK RAGAN'S DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

2007 - "Feast Or Famine" (SideOneDummy Records)
2007 - "Loz Feliz" (SideOneDummy Records)
2007 - "The Blueprint Sessions" (No Idea Records)
2008 - "Bristle Ridge" w/ Austin Lucas (Hometown Caravan Records)
2009 - "Gold Country" (SideOneDummy Records)
2011 - "Covering Ground" (SideOneDummy Records)
2014 - "Till Midnight" (SideOneDummy Records)


Chuck Ragan is probably most known for being one of the frontmen and guitarists for punk rock stalwarts Hot Water Music. Since 1993, Hot Water Music has released 7 full length albums as well as a slew of EP's, splits, live albums and appearances on compilations. In 1998, Ragan got his first taste of playing acoustic, rootsy songs when he and Chris Wollard of Hot Water Music created the side project Rumbleseat, who released one full length album. That project would plant the seeds for what was to become of Ragan's solo career. In 2005, Hot Water Music decided to go on a hiatus giving Ragan a chance to focus on his solo career. From 2007 to the present, Ragan proved to be a tireless worker and performer releasing full lengths, splits, singles and collaborations all while releasing yet another Hot Water Music album, 2012's "Exister", and doing Hot Water tours as well as solo tours. In 2008, in fact, Ragan created The Revival Tour, a tour that goes off almost yearly and features a who's who in the world of punk rock artists who perform stripped down acoustic sets. Those who have been featured on the tours are Ragan, Tim Barry (Avail), Laura Jane Grace (Against Me!), Kevin Seconds (7 Seconds), Frank Turner, Chris McCaughan (The Lawrence Arms), Brian Fallon (The Gaslight Anthem), Dave Hause (The Loved Ones) and Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio). Ragan's most recent effort was 2014's "Till Midnight". This album still featured Ragan and his acoustic but also more of a full band vibe, complete with shuffle drums, slide electric guitar and stand up bass. His most recent release was 2015's split EP with Lucero's Rocky Votolato called "Kindred Spirit". Chuck Ragan, along with Avail's Tim Barry, is one of the first punk rockers to go the Americana, roots and folk route with his music. Now, there are a slew of punk frontmen who have branched off to do acoustic stuff from No Use For A Name's Tony Sly, to Lagwagon's Joey Cape, to The Briggs' Joey Briggs to Chris Creswell of The Flatliners. Punkers going acoustic seems to be all the rage all of a sudden. But it all started with Chuck Ragan and nobody does it better than him. His personal heartfelt lyrics and passionate, scruffy vocal delivery are a perfect marriage over acoustic guitars.


1. Meet You In The Middle (featuring Brian Fallon)
2. Ole Diesel
3. The Flame In The Flood
4. For Broken Ears
5. Something May Catch Fire
6. Pretty Good Year (The Loved Ones cover)
7. Bedroll Lullaby
8. Let It Rain
9. For Goodness Sake
10. Wash My Feet In The Waves

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