Chuck Ragan has made a unique career out of exploring unlikely paths. The son of a golf tour pro and a Gospel vocalist, Ragan came to prominence in the mid-’90s as co-frontman for Gainesville, Fla., Punk Rock outfit Hot Water Music. After a successful 13-year run, the band amicably parted ways and Ragan began to pursue the acoustic Folk direction that he dabbled in with Rumbleseat, his late ’90s side project with HWM’s Chris Wollard and Bitchin’ frontwoman Samantha Jones.
Over the past nine years, Ragan has been almost pathologically busy, releasing four full-lengths, including last year’s acclaimed Till Midnight, a handful of split/collaborative albums, a half dozen live releases and a yearlong “single of the month” project. A by-product of Ragan’s incessant touring was his annual Revival Tour concept, which has included Lucero’s Ben Nichols, The Loved Ones’ Dave Hause, Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon, Alkaline Trio’s Dan Andriano, Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace, Cory Branan, Rocky Votolato and many more. Ragan also wrote a book of cautionary tour tales entitled The Road Most Traveled and reunited with his Hot Water Music bandmates for a string of shows in early 2008, which led to continued touring over the next two years and ultimately resulted in the 2012 reunion album, Exister.
Ragan certainly hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down with his renewed solo focus. In addition to substantial North American/U.K./European touring on Till Midnight, Ragan has been busy providing the music for The Flame in the Flood, a still-in-development video game (from the creative team that produced Halo, BioShock, Guitar Hero and others) with help from the Camaraderie, his de facto band collective which includes a number of his musical friends, including Brian Fallon, Frank Turner, Todd Beene, Joe Ginsberg, Jon Gaunt and many others.
What will Chuck Ragan do next? Same thing he does every night, Pinky: try to take over the world.
CHUCK RAGAN plays at Southgate House Revival Friday, Jan. 16. Find tickets/more info here .