Sunday To-Do: Chuck Ragan | Rock Candy

Sunday To-Do: Chuck Ragan

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Chuck Ragan plays White Water Tavern Sunday night.
  • Chuck Ragan plays White Water Tavern Sunday night.

CHUCK RAGAN
9 p.m. White Water Tavern. $10. All ages.

For at least a decade, you couldn't beat Hot Water Music out of Gainesville, Fla., for rousing, anthemic post-hardcore, with crunchy Gibson guitars and virtuosic bass playing. And have you noticed how everybody has a beard these days? Yeah, the HWM guys started that whole thing way back in the mid- '90s. Also the Bukowski-referencing band name was a good call.

After the band called it a day back in '06, co-frontman Chuck Ragan struck out on his own, pursuing a more roots-oriented, acoustic direction, country even. He'd hinted at this previously with a couple EPs from Hot Water Music side project Rumbleseat.

Here in 2011, Ragan has just released "Covering Ground." In keeping with his recent output, this album has much more in common with Springsteen than Fugazi. Ragan's gravelly howl is probably even more effective in this mostly acoustic context than it was in his old band. Ragan's songs aren't as loud as they were a decade ago but they're every bit as intense.

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