Once known primarily as the co-frontman of Hot Water Music, Chuck Ragan has carved out a niche in alt-folk over his first three studio albums. Ragan’s solo work first emerged years ago via some excellent live bootlegs featuring the songs that would eventually become his first proper release. Now seven years later Ragan has released his fourth full length.
Till Midnight continues to slowly evolve and refine what’s become Ragan’s trademark sound. Early recordings were relatively simple – His gravelly voice paired with acoustic guitar and occasional harmonica. Today his sound has expanded into a full 5-piece folk/country band featuring talented fiddle and lap steel players. This had taken him from meager beginnings as an earnest folk minstrel to a raucous good time.
The first standout track on this album is “Non Typical”. It’s the first spot where Chuck really let’s loose with his unbridled throaty vocals. But the true gem of this collection is “You and I Alone” a chugging country-tinged track with an infectious chorus featuring a catchy steel guitar counterpoint to the lead vocal.
In the years since his solo debut Ragan has also founded (and headlines) “The Revival Tour” alongside like-minded acoustic acts like Craig Finn, Jay Malinowski and Dave Hause. If you get a chance to check it out, do not miss it.