Chuck Ragan Plots Fall LP, Tour

Musician plans to be covering lots of ground.


If any artist has earned the
right to name a record Covering Ground,
Chuck Ragan is deserving of that honor, with hundreds of thousands of miles
covered over nearly the last two decades with Hot Water Music and as a solo
artist. Set for release on September 13th from SideOneDummy, Covering Ground is Ragan’s third
full-length studio record, though he has released seemingly countless singles,
7-inches, live records, collaborative splits, and appeared on numerous
compilations. Ragan will be covering ground this Fall in support of the record
with tour dates to be announced shortly.


Growing up on a healthy dose
of Cajun, Southern Baptist gospel, and bluegrass music, Ragan’s sound is a
blend of folk, roots, and gospel, but Covering
is essentially a blue collar, Americana record filled with honest
road songs. “The majority, if not all of these songs were either written on the
road or they are about the road. There aren’t any hidden meanings within the
title at all. It is what it is and it depicts what I’ve done since the release
of the last record, as well as the majority of my life,” states Ragan. “But the
fact of the matter is, some of us have been raised to live and thrive in one
place throughout our lives, while others have constantly been on the move.
There’s no telling which is for the better or for the worse. That all depends
on the person we wish to be and the perspective we choose to view.”


Songs such as “Nomad By Fate”
and “Wish On The Moon,” which sound like a soundtrack for freighthoppers
traveling cross-country, reinforce the album’s title, but the lovelorn and
openly honest songs “Right As Rain” and “Meet You In The Middle” exemplify the
sacrifice of being a road warrior. “‘Right As Rain’ is an undying
confession of love,” admits Ragan. As the road constantly beckons Ragan,
he says “The hardest thing for me to do nowadays is leave home. This song
is simply about being away from my wife when we’re both busted up about it and
wanting nothing more than for her to sleep sound and well, knowing that no one
on this earth could love her anymore than I do.”


Recorded between three
different tours this year, Ragan and his band, Jon Gaunt (fiddle) and Joe
Ginsberg (upright bass), entered Fireside Sound Studios in Silverlake, CA
with Blind Melon’s Christopher Thorn in the Spring. In keeping with the ideals
of Chuck Ragan’s yearly Revival Tour, which is a collection of like-minded
musicians that collaborate with each other on the road, Ragan invited new and
old friends to join him on the record. The Camaraderie, as Ragan refers to it,
includes Gaunt and Ginsberg, as well as Christopher Thorn (mandolin, guitar,
lap steel, banjo), Rich Steff (organ, piano, accordion) and Todd Beene (pedal
steel) of Lucero, Chris Phillips of Squirrel Nut Zippers (bodhran, tambourines,
percussion), Frank Turner (backing vocals), Audra Mae (backing vocals), and Brian
Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem (backing vocals).


[Photo Credit: Scott Toepfer]




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