Chuck Ragan, hailing from Grass Valley, California, has been an active and influential singer-songwriter for the last decade and has sold over 100,000 albums worldwide to date. Ragan’s newest release, Till Midnight, presents the singer-songwriter’s belief in music’s ability to inspire and embodies a mix of his distinctively raspy voice, eloquent lyrical insight, and catchy, forceful songcraft.
I first heard Garland's song "Wild In The Streets" in 1986 when it was covered by The Circle Jerks. I grew up skateboarding and after I strayed from the straight and narrow home my parents raised me in, I found a completely alternative lifestyle, community and styles of music.
I grew up in a old school Southern Baptist household. My mother's side of the family came from Louisiana, so Cajun and French folk music was our release and where we felt at home. Growing up in churches in the South, I was also surrounded by old time gospel, bluegrass and spirit driven hymnals. When I started playing music, a friend of the family introduced me to the secular side of folk, country and acoustic music. It was skateboarding that derailed it all and sent me in another direction and in the meantime, "Wild In The Streets" was our anthem. It was our saving grace.
After I'd heard this cover, I found the original and where and who it all came from. The respect I have for musicians that have cut the path for us to follow is immense. None of us would be here doing what we're doing if it wasn't for people that we looked up to somewhere along the way. Years later I was lucky enough to find myself on The Revival Tour stage in 2009 with Garland Jeffreys strutting and wailing his heart out to a tune that had been a staple in my life since I was a kid.
Needless to say, it's amazing how things take place in our world of music when you believe in what you do and how one day you may be sitting on a floor listening to records and a couple decades later singing that harmony with the very person you were listening to. I think that's why it's so important to continually support the younger generation and furiously fight for the underdogs because you never know if they may be the ones who'll tell me I'm singing my part a little out of key or helping my old broken self down from the stage! In all seriousness though, it's vital for us to connect, contribute and promote the youth of today for I believe they are the crucial thread in the fabric of our music community.
Garland embraces this ethic and returns whatever it was that he learned along the way tenfold. I'm completely honored to know him and have had the opportunities to share the stage and a tune with him. Much respect, CR.