A formidable presence on the stage but, more recently, an even more commanding fisherman, folk troubadour Chuck Ragan is the subject of 'Landsick,' an award-winning documentary that was released last year and is now getting a wide release via YouTube.
“I believe that even though we made this film close to two years ago, the balance that this piece hinges on has always been apart of my life in one way or the other," says Chuck about the documentary. Interspersed with musical blasts of his solo material as an Americana icon, the 12 minute documentary captures a moment in Chuck's ever evolving life. "Becoming a dad, taking a leap of faith half way through my life and more or less starting a new career has been a bit of a struggle but the fact of the matter is, guiding and being on the water keeps my mind at peace as well as close to home to my family," he continues. "Living a life of working non stop between the road and the water is tough on my family and I which is why it’s so important for me to continue the best I can trying to find that balance between two independent occupations that have very little security.”
"The film LANDSICK started as a simple conversation between three people in a drift-boat near Missoula, MT - [Producer] Peter Vandergrift, Chuck Ragan and I," explains director Matt Devlin of PMD Productions. Noting Chuck's tireless and genuine dedication, he notes, "Looking back on that day, it was a perfect harbinger of things to come; Chuck had played a gig in Canada, driven through the night, caught a few hours of sleep in the cab of his truck, met us on time to fish all day and then play another show that night! Filming LANDSICK alongside Chuck on his Spring tour taught me to live more fully, to squeeze nearly everything I can out of life, because to be human is such an unpredictable endeavor. Chuck as an artist, father, and angler walks what he talks, plain and simple. In the wake of filming and crafting this project, I am a friend richer."
Capturing the award for Best Story at the Drake Film Awards was certainly an achievement that wasn’t even considered. First and foremost, Devlin and the production team wanted to capture a snapshot of Chuck but what they got was much more than they bargained for. Weaving music, fishing and his family life - including scenes with his wife and newborn son, they constructed a film that carries artistic merit as well as a poignant and emotional heft.
“Sometimes I wonder if a consistent balance could even exist with these two lines of work along with being a present dad and husband," muses Chuck. "I do know that just as concerts sometimes get derailed and somehow make it back on track or when an unpredictable day on the water with unfamiliar clients turn into an epic session with moments and memories of a lifetime, anything is possible. Nothing is easy and nothing is really free. Everything worthwhile and beautiful is worth struggling and sacrificing for and the days I have where I work myself to the bone and find my boy running up to my truck at the end of the day makes it all worth it.”
Hot Water Music is currently on the road celebrating their 25 year anniversary with a number of weekend shows and writing a new album together. Chuck is also currently writing music for his next solo album as well (release date: TBD).