CHUCK RAGAN • Feast Or Famine • LP
No Idea Records
Feast or Famine is the debut solo album by Chuck Ragan.
While Ragan's live debut Los Feliz gave the Hot Water Music front man's fans a glimpse into many of these songs, the versions on Feast Or Famine are more polished without losing any of the inherent urgency or passion.
"Mad Dog Studios was a really homey environment that had a lot of wood all around it, which made me very relaxed," Ragan explains about the laid-back recording process that took place in Burbank, California.
"I was also very blessed to have some really awesome people contribute to the record." This list includes Matt Skiba (The Alkaline Trio), Jolie Holland, Tim Barry (Avail), Nathan Maxwell (Flogging Molly), James Fearnley (The Pogues) as well the album's producer Ted Hutt, who has worked with the Bouncing Souls and Flogging Molly.
At its core Feast or Famine is undeniably a folk record in the most traditional sense of the term.
The violin-driven "Do You Pray" is startlingly reminiscent Bruce Springsteen's Bob Seeger sessions; "Don't Cry" recalls Uncle Tupelo and the austere "Symmetry" is dripping with so much raw emotion that you can almost feel Ragan's presence next you as he delivers his lyrics with his trademark urgency and passion.
01. The Boat
02. For Broken Ears
03. California Burritos
05. It’s What You Will
06. Do You Pray
07. Don’t Cry
09. Between The Lines
10. Hearts Of Stone
11. The Grove
12 Do What You Do