Chuck Ragan Covers Bob Dylan

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“Times They Are A-Changin” has always been a favorite in our household, not to mention one of those songs that is simply relevant within any year or era. Dylan always had a way with words that could put things right in place within any timeline. When we were in Mad Dog Studios in Burbank during the “Feast or Famine” sessions in 2007, Ted Hutt and Ryan Mall were all for laying it down. We cut it then and released it on the Side One Dummy, “Between The Lines” 7″ on the B-side before it appeared on The Revival Tour 2008 Compilation. Truly painful for me to hear my voice from that session, but the song remains to be dear to me and it’s one of my wife’s favorite songs as well. The person who convinced me to record it in the first place.

Chuck Ragan, “The Times They Are A-Changin'”

“Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” and “Chimes of Freedom” were recorded by Bruce Wheelock at Flying Whale Recording in Grass Valley, CA a couple of years ago. Mostly on a whim, during a break at home where I decided to go have a lock in at the studio for a few days. I recorded a large batch of songs, originals and covers. When I went down to the cabin by the studio to set up and collect thoughts, lyrics and such, I wasn’t even sure what I wanted to record. Just wanted or I guess needed to get down there. While I was flipping pages of a stack of songs I’d covered or learned or wanted to learn, “Hard Rain” and “Chimes” were among the batch of covers I selected.

Chuck Ragan, “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”

While copying the massive amount of lyrics between these two numbers, I found the already enormous amount of respect for Bob Dylan grow 10 fold. I often wonder exactly where, how and why these lyrics, in the order that they’ve been laied out, presented and given to us by Mr. Dylan came to be. Stories within stories within a phrase that stand the test of time. Meanings and reasons upon reasons within a simple group of words stacked up to create a world of inspiration, insight and awareness. What’s been left for us has been nothing short of an astounding arsenal of stimulating poetry through music. We can only be thankful to live within the lifetime that we’ve lived in which these songs thrive and breathe. Just as well, we can only hope that the generations beyond ours carry the same open minded admiration for who is quite possibly one of the greater songwriters that has ever taken up the craft.

Chuck Ragan, “Chimes Of Freedom”

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