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Chuck Ragan - Covering Ground (Cover Artwork)

Chuck Ragan

Chuck Ragan: Covering GroundCovering Ground (2011)
Side One Dummy Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: MN_DrNickMN_DrNick
(others by this writer | submit your own)

If there's one thing that I love about Chuck Ragan compared to most of the folk punk/acoustic solo acts that have been quite popular in the last five years or so, it is that he delivers songs with such great passion. It very much feels like it in his vocal delivery. Covering Ground, his latest solo .
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If there's one thing that I love about Chuck Ragan compared to most of the folk punk/acoustic solo acts that have been quite popular in the last five years or so, it is that he delivers songs with such great passion. It very much feels like it in his vocal delivery. Covering Ground, his latest solo effort, is no different.

As far as the his solo discography goes, Ragan really doesn't bring anything new to the table, unlike say Frank Turner who seems to go into different directions from what I heard on his last two albums. But what I liked about this one is the production. It is very much stripped down-sounding. Kinda like a live recording. It very much reminded me of Bristle Ridge, his album with Austin Lucas. Christopher Thorn does an excellent job at the recording.

Like said before, the album really doesn't bring anything new to the table as far as song writing goes for Ragan. But it is still a solid record. Ragan still delivers with his vocals and lyrics. Once again, Jon Gaunt is back on fiddle. Turner, Audra Mae and Brian Fallon appear on a few tracks to help out on backing vocals and do excellent jobs as always. Throughout there is great instrumentation and excellent arrangements. I really don't expect anything less on his albums.

So once again, Chuck Ragan delivers another solid album.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
desertburst92 (May 6, 2012)

At first I thought it was pretty good. I bought after I saw perform some of these songs live. Fellow commenters, I realized that this is an album you have to let marinate... meaning its an album you have to listen to several times to really appreciate it. The first two songs are truly incredible .

telegraphrocks (December 15, 2011)

Like "Gold Country", extremely disappointing.

CityRocker (December 14, 2011)

I'd say on par with Feast, better than Gold.

What really makes this album great though is Jon Gaunt's violin....often simple but so well arranged and performed!

originaljohnny (December 14, 2011)

i liked this better than gold country. to me, it sounded like feast or famine: Part II. this is good in the sense that to me feast or famine is incredibly good, his best - bad of course if you're wanting to hear something sort of new/different...but even MORESO bad because a few songs sound almost exactly LIKE the ones on feast or famine.

case in point: i'll be damned if "you get what you give" [covering ground] doesn't sound like the EXACT song that "it's what you will" [feast or famine] is, with the exception of a few slight changes in rhythm and a different chord here and there. it's like the song's identical twin. the verses/choruses mirror each other in tempo/pace with both the guitar and vocals. pretty shitty. i love chuck though.

for the person who's looking for the definitive chuck "moment" if you can't find it on "the boat" you probably just don't dig this kinda stuff.

moop (December 13, 2011)

Tim Barry solo > Chuck Ragan solo.

lmchc (December 13, 2011)

so, the whole review could have been summed up in the last sentence?

tell me about your favortie songs or something.

AK3punk (December 13, 2011)

His best yet by far. "On the Bow" should have been the intro to this album.

mclz (December 13, 2011)

his best record yet!

EchosMyron (December 13, 2011)

Wow, I just looked his name up. He's a painter now?

http://blakes1967catastrophe.wordpress.com/

MN_DrNick (December 13, 2011)

Well too bad Blake Schwarzenbach is too crazy now to write new songs.

EchosMyron (December 13, 2011)

I'm pretty sure Blake Schwarzenbach is the only punk icon who can pen a great acoustic song. "Unlisted Track," "Sea Anemone," "Sweet Avenue"... All way better songs than anything Ragan will ever come up with.

EchosMyron (December 13, 2011)

Really boring stuff.

discofucker (December 13, 2011)

Great album, awful review. Can we at least proof read?

eatdogs (December 13, 2011)

"bitter and beaten, his days of stage dives and high fives are long since over. the orgcore punker is left drowning his sorrows over chuck ragan singles and a case of pbr."

i love chuck ragan...

oldturds (December 13, 2011)

this album, much like gold country, i feel, starts out insanely solid and then peters out a little. as far as passion goes, i think anyone would be hard-pressed to find someone with as much as chuck. maybe i'm just a fanboy, but i almost feel that he's much more into this than he would be with the next HWM release. of course that would break a lot of hearts, but we'll see what happens.

either way, one of the best live performances I've EVER seen when chuck opened for social d a few weeks ago. i almost fucking teared up it was so powerful, and not even headlining! can't.even.imagine.

superskabro (December 13, 2011)

"This stuff bores me to tears usually, which sucks, because I love a lot of the music these people make otherwise."

bingo.

I bought "Feast or Famine" and couldn't believe how lame it was. The last time I saw Chuck Ragan live, I left after 3 songs. It was a real drag. I want so badly to like this punk-goes-folk movement, but other than a few Sundowner songs and some of Tim Barry's work, nothing has stuck with me. Even Ben Nichols bored me to tears! I couldn't believe it!

Is there any one, definitive Chuck Ragan song someone could recommend that might help me to think otherwise?

r3vengetherapy (December 13, 2011)

@killtaker "I think that these guys (Chuck, Sundowner, Joey Cape, Tim Barry) might have more fun making this music than I do listening to it"

Precisely. This stuff bores me to tears usually, which sucks, because I love a lot of the music these people make otherwise.

killtaker (December 13, 2011)

I like this record. Not as good as Feast or Famine but better than Gold Country. This genre of music as a whole is OK in small doses. I think that these guys (Chuck, Sundowner, Joey Cape, Tim Barry) might have more fun making this music than I do listening to it and I am a super fan of most of their bands. Chuck does this better than everyone else though...his voice carries the whole thing

kidgotham (December 13, 2011)

Good review, Nick.

I really liked this record.

SilentStorms (December 13, 2011)

I would take Rocky Votolato over this any day of the week.

tsiege (December 13, 2011)

I'm glad to see this album finally got reviewed. I feel this is a hard genre to be creative in, but then again maybe I'm just easily pleased...

nicknocturnal (December 13, 2011)

FOF and GC have some awesome songs, but I'm not really a fan of how they were produced, they seem a little too polished or something. I agree with the reviewer about the production on this one, it almost sounds like a live recording, sounds great.

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