I haven't heard many records this year that have piqued my interest. A slow start that appears to be looking up as we move from winter into spring. I was very much looking forward to the new Chuck Ragan (out 3/25) and I have to tell ya...it hasn't let me down. For those who may not know Chuck Ragan is a member of punk band Hot Water Music who for much of the past 8 years or so has moved into the Americana field with a string of very good records and his own Revival Tour which has seen him joined by many of his contemporaries switching the electrics for acoustics. Now I am not a fan of punk music in general (at least since 1979) but I do like Chuck Ragan and others are bringing to the roots music table.
His last album, Covering Ground, was on my 2012 Top 10 and I am pretty sure that Till Midnight will be on this year's list as well. Any record that starts out as good as Something May Catch Fire > Vagabond > Non Typical should be on lots of top 10 lists. This time out he is joined by the Camaraderie and the songs rock out a bit more than past albums. His voice may not appeal to all but he sounds great belting out these Americana...well American anthems. These are big songs with big sing along choruses played on acoustic instruments. Bruce Springsteen should be listening as Chuck Ragan does this sound way better than Bruce has of late (sorry I love ya Bruce but your prolific output this decade is pretty uneven).
There is not a bad track on the whole record so get out there and grab this one.
For those of you in the NYC area Chuck Ragan will be at Irving Plaza with The White Buffalo on 4/18.