Rocky Votolato & Chuck Ragan – Kindred Spirit Review – 2015

kindred spirit

I’d never been into Rocky Votolato, and not because of any discourse with his music, it just hadn’t reached the top of my list of things to listen to until this split came along. I am a huge fan of Chuck Ragan and all his musical endeavors, so when Kindred Spirit hit the shelves, I immediately put it into regular rotation.

My attention was immediately grabbed with the first line of the opening track by Rocky Votolato – “Sparks of Recovery”,

“In a 91 that still runs but barely, Writing your name in the fog on winter windows in the morning”

A great metaphor of life. A perpetual feeling that life is about to fall apart but the comfort and company of another is all you need to get through.

Sparks of Recovery is a beautifully constructed tune that captures a great metaphor of life. The perpetual feeling this uncontrollable journey is falling apart, and yet the comfort of another will lead to resolution or perhaps just acceptance. Struggle and perseverance, whatever that may be.

Rocky’s other two tracks, “St. Louis” and “Let Go” continue in the same vein as this opening track. Sonically soothing, unavoidably beautiful and surprisingly comforting. He has a great ability to introduce ideas of ultimate sadness only to be followed by a perfectly uplifting resolution:

“Eventually we’ll all lose every single thing we love”
“But we can beat death while we’re still alive”

These songs server as a great reminder that resolution is in the hands of your own mind, so make of it what you need.

Chuck Ragan’s side of the split does not disappoint. Three great tracks, with some fantastic guest’s helping him out on the vocals. Dave Hause, Jon Snodgrass, Ben Nichols, and Chad Price all make appearances.

Chuck’s tracks all sound like they could have been included on his previous release “Till Midnight”, and made the already brilliant record, even better. “Vagabond” is a track you will recognize from Till Midnight, but the guest appearances make this a well deserving re-release.

My favorite track on the record is the closer, “Before Dust”. It’s a slow grind that’s captivating enough to make you lose yourself in thought, if you let it. The song makes me feel like I’m on a motorcycle cruising two lane mountain roads well after midnight, with only my mind and the stars above to keep company. The song is like a good book that can be read in snippets. Take nearly any line presented throughout and let your mind digest it. I mean really dig in, and see where it takes you. Challenge yourself to learn more about yourself through this brilliant thought provoking track. My current favorite:

“We all must land somewhere”

Anyway – this is a great record from end to end, and damn good soundtrack for road trips and traveling into the great unknown. Hop on over to Chuck Ragan’s website, link below, and get yourself a copy of this on CD or Vinyl

Rocky Votolato & Chuck Ragan – Kindred Spirit – ORDER HERE!


Introduction to Bryan Minks

Bryan Minks

My oldest memories of being in love with music go back to my very first memories. I can still hear the crackling vinyl as the Rolling Stones pumped through my father’s floor model pioneers on a late Saturday night, it was the soundtrack for good times with friends. I can still hear the classic country gold pouring from my papaw’s (that’s Kentuckian for Grandfather) classic radio in his Volkswagen repair shop. The same way I can remember being a 12-year-old boy who decided to trade his Nintendo and TV at the pawn shop for a shitty Les Paul knockoff and a Peavey Bandit. I can still hear Lucero’s “Nobody’s Darlings” blasting through my car speakers on backwoods Kentucky roads, the soundtrack as I fell in love with my soon to be wife. Music has been there for me through thick and thin, through good and bad. It never leaves my side. It provides me the inspiration needed to crawl out of the hard times. It is the setting for my good times. These moments continue to inspire me and shape me into who I am and who I will become.

My musical tastes are as diverse as any, but first and foremost I’m a fan of sincerity. I guess that is how I stumbled upon Nine Bullets in the first place. Most of the artists I’d been listening to were played on the Nine Bullets radio show, reviews of their records were on the website, and it quickly became my go to avenue for discovery of new music. You may not like every review/link/article/etc shared here, but one thing remains constant – the artists represented here are sincere. And these hardworking artists deserve an ambassador to purvey their work.

I am honored and excited to be part of Nine Bullets. It is a place I have visited and continually found musical inspiration. My goal is to seek out music that I love and share it with you. I want to give you a new point of inspiration and hope, share with you these soundtracks that guide me on my journeys every day.