The Revival Tour: white punks on folk

The sixth Revival Tour kicked off in Texas on March 15. The group rolls into San Diego April 21 propelled, as its promoters say, by “an innate need to tell a story in its naked acoustic style.” Folk haters, read no further. While the individual players on the Revival Tour may have had spiked hair and played loud three-chord rock music at various times in their respective careers, this is a flannel-shirt gig. For the unfamiliar, the Revival Tour is essentially an ensemble collective and a great big folk-influenced acoustic jam session. It is in-the-moment stuff, meaning that the performances, with any luck, are for the most part fluid creations left to chance. No two shows, the promoters say, will be alike. Also, the cast of musicians changes as the tour crosses America. In Solana Beach, Jenny O from Los Angeles, Dave Hause (Loved Ones), and Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath will appear with tour organizer Chuck Ragan — yep, that Chuck Ragan.

Ragan emerged from Gainesville, Florida, in 1993 with a post-punk outfit called Hot Water Music, the name borrowed from a story collection by Charles Bukowski. The band members looked like farm boys, not punks. Hot Water Music featured dual singer/guitarists in both Ragan and Chris Wollard. After five years of touring and grinding out albums and a multitude of EPs, the members checked out, and then back in. Hot Water Music stop-started all the way through 2006, when Ragan made the break permanent (or so he thought, as HWM released a new disc in 2012) and moved to California. Here, the raspy-voiced punk shouter began recording folk music in earnest. It seemed to be something he’d wanted to do all along. Ragan had been flirting with folk ideas earlier in the band Rumbleseat, a short-lived side project with Wollard during the time of Hot Water Music. Now, it’s for real.

The Revival Tour: Belly Up, Sunday, April 21, doors 7 p.m. 858-481-8140. $20 advance/$22 at the door.

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