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Chuck Ragan: In the Studio

Singer-songwriter reveals the process behind his new solo album, ‘Till Midnight’

Chuck Ragan, In Studio

Scott G. Toepfer

Lisa Johnson caught this moment of [multi-instrumentalist] Christopher [Thorn] and I stepping out of the box for a breath of the freshest air Silverlake had to offer.

Lisa Johnson

We Found No Equal

A good friend and fellow songwriter, Lenny Lashley, generously passed down this '64 Gibson to me and said, "I've already squeezed all the songs I'll squeeze out of this thing but I left a few in there for you." Out of a dozen or so we put a mic on, we found no equal.

Lisa Johnson

The To-Do List

When tracking vocals, I enjoy taking on whichever song speaks to me clearly in the moment, rather than sticking to a specific "to-do" list. For many songs, I believe there's always a right and wrong time for carving them out.

Lisa Johnson

Many Talents/Hats

Since I've worked with Christopher, I've truly grown to admire and respect his attention to detail and dedication to the work he takes pride in – as well as his many talents and rally hats.

Scott G. Toepfer

Pedal Steel

The opportunity to listen and record with Todd Beene and his pedal steel is a massive privilege. His call-and-response and incredible, imaginative directions of his tracks made a massive impact on this entire record.

Scott G. Toepfer

The One and Only

David Hidalgo, Jr., ladies and gentlemen! The one and only. Not sure if we grabbed pictures of it but Dave actually tracked a few songs on this record completely blindfolded and nailed it shut. No joke.

Scott G. Toepfer

More Respect Than Words

I shared the stage with Jon Gaunt for the first time over a decade ago. Over the years we've played together, I've witnessed an astounding amount of tenacity and diligence from him and his craft. More respect than words for this instrument and anyone who's brave enough to wield it.

Scott G. Toepher

Fonogenic Studios

[Photographer] Scott Toepher has always had a great eye, no matter the lighting or surroundings. He seized this moment with Christopher while we ironed out kinks at Fonogenic Studios.

Chuck Ragan, In Studio, Los Angeles

Scott Toepfer

Salt of the Earth

I've had the pleasure to roll with [Joe] Ginsberg since 2010 and have found he's one of those players who always steps up to deliver in any capacity, learns and retains material on a dime and spreads more positive mental attitude in a night than most spread their entire life. Salt of the earth.

Scott G. Toepfer

Positive Energy

Something that may never completely come through the photos, recordings or stories told is the genuine positive energy, comedy and good mojo that ensued. I wish I could've bottled it but I will never forget it.

Scott G. Toepfer

Acoustics in Mind

Christopher's studio in Silverlake was built by him, family and friends with acoustics in mind. Though a lot of the loud rock or even big-band sessions he's done sound incredible, this studio really shines when it comes to acoustic instruments.

Scott G. Toepfer


One of the best aspects of working with Thorn is his patience and willingness to explore all options and push all limits. He's always willing to let me follow my instincts and do what I do, but not timid at all to step up and let it be known if I'm getting off-track, losing control or just getting tired.

Lisa Johnson

Fireside Studios

The Thorn family has always made me feel at home at Fireside Studios. The first time I walked away with a record, I walked away with new friends. Always an inspiration, always an honor.