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Chuck Ragan

Feast Or Famine

(Hot Water Music,Alkaline Trio,Tim Barry,Flogging Molly,Pogues)

Side One Dummy 1337

Released on August 7, 2007


We have a limited supply of this item and once our stock is gone there will be no more. Buy now with a credit card if you want one

One listen to Feast Or Famine, and it is undeniable that the deep, gruff voice that once screamed powerful punk anthems belongs to none other than Chuck Ragan. The former Hot Water Music frontman has become a musical troubadour, writing stripped-down acoustic songs that retain the same passion evident in his punk rock career. Feast or Famine, his debut studio album for SideOneDummy, beautifully captures the sound of a gifted singer/songwriter as he journeys into the next chapter of his musical life, with an acoustic guitar in hand.

Teaming up with producer Ted Hutt (Bouncing Souls, Flogging Molly), the laid-back recording process took place with close friends including Matt Skiba (Alkaline Trio), Jolie Holland, Jon Gaunt, Tim Barry (Avail), James Fearnley (The Pogues), Matt Hensley and Nathan Maxwell (Flogging Molly.) The album also displays Ragan’s remarkable musical talents with him playing the harmonica, lap steel and both acoustic and electric guitars.

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.

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Average Customer Rating: 4.5 with 11 reviews (See Below)
Customer Rating

Song Titles
# Song Name Popularity
1 The Boat Voted #1  19%
2 For Broken Ears  11%
3 California Burritos  10%
4 Geraldine  7%
5 It's What You Will  6%
6 Do You Pray Voted #2  15%
7 Don't Cry Voted #3  13%
8 Symmetry  6%
9 Between The Lines  2%
10 Hearts Of Stone  1%
11 The Grove  3%
12 Do What You Do  6%
Vote for your favorite songs by clicking the green checkmark above

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Customer Reviews

Displaying 1 to 10 of 11 reviews
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Shannon from Wilmot Station, NS Canada 
Aug 22 2008 Rating: 5/5 Stars

This album is amazing. I was insanely impressed with its production, arrangement ... all aspects, everything! The garbage can crashing on 'It's what you Will' Stellar.

Every song on this record was extremely moving and thought evoking. I had heard 'Do you Pray' before and being from Nova Scotia Canada felt a kinship with that nice Celtic sound to it. So that alone was worth it. But, I got it, played it and fell in love with every song bar none. I can totally feel where he's coming from on 'Do what you Do' cause i feel the exact same way with my girl. Chuck really touched base on his roots music and that is just impressive as hell.

If you enjoy Flogging molly or Mike Ness' solo records. . . This is a must have for your ears and soul.

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Nick from Osage, MN 
Apr 21 2008 Rating: 5/5 Stars

This CD is essence, is pretty amazing. Chuck Ragan (of Hot Water Music in case you didnt know) decided to embark on his own musical adventures as well as a small carpentry business shorty after HWM went on hiatus. The music is reminiscent of some Bob Dylan, thrown in with Ragan's soul drenched voice and heart-on-sleeve lyrics. The songs are of politics, love and life. I have this on both Vinyl and CD. Thats how good it is.

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Rodney from Sarasota, FL 
Oct 28 2007 Rating: 5/5 Stars

This album gave me the passion and inspiration I had for music when I first started playing (some 15 years ago). In a world where everyone is watered down and sounds the same, Chuck came out and gave us a record with his heart on his sleeve. This is a must have for any HWM and Draft fan as well as a fan of good whole hearted song writing. Chuck really stepped out from the electric guitars and band atmosphere and delivers a masterpiece. Way to go Mr. & Mrs. Ragan

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Isaac from Linwood, ON Canada 
Oct 20 2007 Rating: 4/5 Stars

Chuck Ragan, you are the man, I appritiate you switch to solo folk music, not because I prefer it over punk, but because it's fresh and i'm glad you consider things like that. You seem like such a respectful guy and very laid back. I can learn alot from you. Oh back to Feast or Famine, it's good. The Boat, Do What you Do, Hearts of Stone and of course Do You Pray-notice. please avoid the mockery, Christianity has alot of very positive things that will change your life-if you let it. But yeah, it's a fine cd, your the man Chuck, maybe you can play in Canada sometime-Toronto? PIck up this cd

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Scott from Adelaide, Australia 
Oct 14 2007 Rating: 5/5 Stars

Chuck Ragan is one talented mother fucker.

This cd is freaking amazing!!! Its as raw and emotional as you would expect from Chuck, but its just got some of the most original tunes ive heard in ages. He's clearly gone back to his roots and is obviously exploring a totally different side of himself then he did with hot water.

Any fan of Hot Water Music should love this cd. Likewise fans of other recent acoustic cds from frontman from other amazing bands, such as City and Colour and Sundowner.

Nothing chills me out more then this cd. I cant wait for summer to come, so i can totally relax with a beer on the beach listening to "Feast or Famine".

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Kent from Alma, MI 
Sep 9 2007 Rating: 5/5 Stars

Wow, what a great cd. Check knows what he is doing. The Draft did well with thier release, but I like this kind of thing better. Im all about Hot Water Music, but I love gettin back to the roots. Chuck does a great job at laying out the folk rhythms. The fiddle, violin, banjo and accordian really make this cd sweet. "Do you pray" is such a good song. One of my favorite cds of the year so far. Hats off to chuck!!

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Dustin from Corvallis, OR 
Aug 17 2007 Rating: 5/5 Stars

Sure, it isn't HWM ... but this just goes to show you how talented this guy is. I can't believe how powerful "The Boat" is ... it was great on the live album, but even more amazing with Matt Skiba in the background. Awesome.

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Chris from Bountiful, UT 
Aug 15 2007 Rating: 3/5 Stars

The first to songs of this cd are really amazing. After that it's mostly folky slow songs that get really redundant. There are a couple of other really good songs but yeah, redundant folk music mostly. I love Chuck Ragan, and I think it's cool he's doing a solo album. However he sounds soooo much better with a band plugged in. Do me a favor Chuck, start up a new electric band, release a few awesome albums then go make another solo cd. So while yes this does have a few good tracks, I just hope this isn't what ol Chucky is planning to do the rest of his music career.

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Russell. from Parma, OH 
Aug 14 2007 Rating: 5/5 Stars

I have never been totally taken in by an album in the way I have been by this one. Along the same lines as Greg Graffin's (bad religion) Cold as the Clay and Tim Barry's (avail)Rivanna Junction and just as good. I recommend this for anybody who likes folk and acoustic music.

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Kevin from Houston, TX 
Aug 10 2007 Rating: 3/5 Stars

I like Chuck Ragan's voice and musical talents, but so far none of the songs are sticking with me. I was actually hoping he was going to do a full band thing and not just the harmonica and acqoustic guitar deal again like on the live album (Los Feliz). Still, I shouldn't complain, this is still a collection of good music, I just couldn't find any tracks I would repeat listen to.

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