Acoustic music’s a slippery slope. So much can go so wrong with it almost immediately that it’s hard not to flinch when someone you admire musically goes about it solo. Cafés across this great land of ours are lousy with examples of once-good ideas gone horribly hippie or Hallmark card wrong. Thankfully, Chuck Ragan’s a modern-day warrior, golden dude, and no stranger to the acoustic guitar. (Check out Rumbleseat.) It’s little records like this where time gets elastic, and that part in The Decline of Western Civilization where these crazed people talk about punk picking up where the folk tradition left off—and you think Claude Bessy’s totally out of his mind—makes sense and snaps back on itself. It comes to this: with music that’s at the tip of an arrow, aimed true, words like “punk” and “folk” take a back seat to resistance music, to carving your own music into hard surfaces, and being honest to yourself, which, I believe, Chuck is doing. Great stuff.
–todd (No Idea)