Monday, 30 November 2009

Chuck Ragan- Gold Country

I picked this album up a few weeks ago, and it's starting to sink in. For those of you not in the know, Chuck Ragan was the gravel voiced singer of post hardcore originals Hot Water Music. Anyone who does not know that band should go out and buy A Flight And A Crash and Caution right now- two classic albums.

Since HWM disbanded, Chuck has gone one to forge a successful solo career. Losing the crunching guitars of his previous act, he know sits firmly in the alt country bracket. Sitting alongside the likes of Ryan Adams, Bright Eyes and the UK's own Frank Turner. His debut solo album Feast Or Famine Was as accomplished an album as any put out by any of the above artists. Gold Country is a little less obvious, seeing Chuck leave big choruses even further behind, instead embracing a lot of the musical heritage of the US over the years. The influence of The Band, The Byrds and Bob Dylan is easy to see alongside the likes of Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson.

It's a slow burner and will take time to truly love, but on a wet evening when you have nothing to do and no one to see, this album is good company.

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