“’Echo the Halls’ is a simple love story of two unhinged souls searching for a light at the end of a tunnel,” explains celebrated folk troubadour Chuck Ragan about his new single which is released today, November 17, 2023 via Rise Records. It’s his first new music since 2016’s soundtrack to the videogame The Flame in the Flood.
Brimming with trademark Chuck-isms, “Echo the Halls” keeps one foot firmly planted in the punk tradition that carried him through a majority of his musical career as co-frontman of Florida’s Hot Water Music and the other in the rootsy Americana of his solo career. With his distinctly rugged and warm vocals soaring anthemically above a propulsive rhythm section that complements his heart-on-his-sleeve lyrics, Chuck displays his music’s innate immediacy, making him a beloved songwriter and a press darling.
“Many of the songs that I discover and gravitate to stem from love and reflection,” he says. “That said, love and reflection isn’t always pleasant and often at times painful. Songwriting to me has always been about looking deeper into myself to overcome my faults and dark sides. Whether I find them myself or learn of them from loved ones.”
A formidable presence on stage for the last three decades, Chuck Ragan played his first solo show over 30 years ago and has been writing heartfelt campfire anthems ever since he picked up an acoustic guitar at the age of 12. Growing up in the Southeast and raised by his Louisiana and Florida-bred Southern family, he has toured the world with seminal punk band Hot Water Music as well as with his own solo career. Ragan conceptualized The Revival Tour in 2005, which has been one of the most anticipated tours throughout North America, Europe, and Australia since its inception in 2008. Featuring such punk rock royalty as Frank Turner, Dave Hause (The Loved Ones), Jenny Owens Young, Brian Fallon (The Gaslight Anthem), Laura Jane Grace (Against Me!), Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio) among many others, The Revival Tour was a festival of sorts that brought together artists of varying genres to collaborate and jam on stage as a musical collective. Ragan has toured the globe extensively for the past two decades and has become a household name in both the folk and punk communities.
"It's a blessing and a privilege to stand on stage and play music for people,” he explains. “I meet so many folks out there, and they're so hospitable and so kind and say such nice things to me about the songs. The support and the energy that I get from them is what makes it possible for me to keep doing this. And when I'm there and in that moment, it's important to me to give it back to them as strongly as they're giving it to me."
Aside from his constantly evolving musical career, Chuck is a true multi-hyphenate as he is an established fishing guide who leads fly fishing trips throughout the Sacramento Valley Rivers in and around the Western region of the Lower Sierra Nevada Mountains. He has also written a book The Road Most Traveled. (2012) which compiles anecdotes about life on the road. In addition, an award-winning documentary Landsick which was based on his balance between music, his fishing and his family had a theatrical release in 2018 followed by a wide-release on YouTube the following year.
“Echo the Halls” was produced by Todd Beene and Chuck Ragan, engineered by Ryan Williams at Black Bear Studios in Gainesville, Fl. and features Spencer Duncan on bass, George Rebelo (Hot Water Music) on drums, Todd Beene on guitar and pedal steel.