Saturday, April 19, 2014

Live Review: Chuck Ragan / The White Buffalo @ Irving Plaza

He thanked his manager, he thanked his roadies, he thanked his backing band, he thanked the people working at Irving Plaza, and he even thanked his bus driver.  He did this all before he introduced himself, "Good evening everybody, my name is Chuck Ragan. Thank you for being here." Those gestures all represent the type of guy that Ragan is, he puts others ahead of himself and wears it all on his sleeve like a badge of honor. Ragan, who is on a co-headlining tour with The White Buffalo rolled through New York City's Irving Plaza on Friday night to a near sold-out crowd. Ragan is on the road promoting his fantastic new album, 'Til Midnight, and brought his backing band, The Camaraderie Collective along with him.

Ragan, like most of his contemporaries is a singer/songwriter that knows how to work a room, part of it is his fantastic arsenal of songs, but another part of it is his magnetic personality. He is a working man, if you follow him on social media you will see him building something, fishing, knocking things down, he never stops. He is a real life Ron Swanson, but with a genuine personality that shines through every time he speaks into a microphone. Going through his songs, you could feel the emotion of the crowd singing along and going through the motions of hanging off each note as if it is the last thing they will ever hear. It is a testament to the music made by a guy who has built a foundation and career around doing things the way he see's fit. For the 80 minutes he was on stage, the gravely voice of Hot Water Music that we grew up loving was transformed into a tender roar of emotion that required full fan participation.

Before Ragan was on stage, Southern California's The White Buffalo went on stage to bring their baritone Americana sound to life in New York. Buffalo main man, Jake Smith's voice is a cross between Eddie Vedder and Waylon Jennings with his own added flair. While, this was not an opening slot, it was a co-headling joint, the fact that two like minded artists were on the same bill together made it a perfect night of music and collective camaraderie that showcases this is a tour you do not want to miss.