Reviews Chuck Ragan Los Feliz

Chuck Ragan

Los Feliz

Chuck Ragan used to play guitar in Hot Water Music, who happened to be one of my favorite bands of all time. He left Hot Water Music to lead his own life, which left us with The Draft in his place. Now we have a solo effort from Mr. Ragan and I can't help to wonder if Los Feliz were released by any other schmuck would I ever care to review it? Hell if I saw it in the record store I'd probably not bat another eye at it.

So now here's my conundrum, should I give Los Feliz a good review just because Ragan used to be in Hot Water Music? I've never been a big fan of unplugged solo live albums, or live albums in general. There's only so much one can do with an acoustic guitar in a live setting. Some songs on Los Feliz get you a fiddle and a harmonica, but still I like my rock music jacked in and rocking. Acoustic rock isn't that, especially in front of an audience.

I can see myself listening Los Feliz on long hot summer night on my porch step watching heat lightning streak the sky wishing for a deluge of a thunderstorm to wipe away the humidity so I can sleep. I happen to like the slower more introspective songs like the opener "Open Up and Wail" and "Do You Pray" more than the more toe tapping tracks that gets the audience in an uproar. The cover of "God Deciding" is nice touch also. I'm sure "Symmetry" might make some mixtapes if I ever decide to have a girlfriend again.

Los Feliz is a good live album, and will get repeated listens from me. Sadly it's only going to get them because I liked Hot Water Music so much. Los Feliz doesn't make me want to go out and buy every acoustic rock album ever made. You won't see me getting into Rocky Votolato or the Elliott Smith back catalog anytime soon. Maybe acoustic rock is about knowing the history of the performer more so than the songs themselves. I tend to think I know Chuck Ragan pretty well and Los Feliz is like reading a letter from a long lost friend and his guitar.

8.0 / 10Jason
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