Cody Canada & The Departed

Cody Canada & The Departed
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Cody Canada was 16 years old when he made his way from Yukon to Stillwater, Oklahoma. He had been searching for some inspiration; a place to call home musically. What he found was a creative nirvana of musicians who were generating the music that would stay with him for the rest of his life. “It was like the greatest place on earth, “ Cody recalls. “I met Tom Skinner, Scott Evans, Bob Childers, Jimmy LaFave, the Red Dirt Rangers and they were all playing this really, really good music. It was kind of in that same vibe as the Allman Brothers and The Band. But what came out of it was really diverse. There were more country acts like Jason Boland. The All American Rejects were the rock guys. Then you had the whole Red Dirt hippie thing…I didn’t even know what Red Dirt was until somebody told me. I got turned on to it all and it’s stayed with me ever since.”

During the 15 years that Canada was front man for Cross Canadian Ragweed, he successfully tapped into those influences on each of their nine albums. Four of those nine charted on Billboard’s Top 10 Country Albums over the course of the years, thousands of albums were sold and the band played to sell out crowds across the country helping to spread “red dirt” music. But the one thing that Canada wanted to do in honor of his musical heartland never came to fruition…until now.

In the wake of Cross Canadian Ragweed’s decision to part ways, Cody resurfaced with an armament of musicians and a mission in mind. With his long time Ragweed band mate, Jeremy Plato (bass) the two made a seamless transition into the world of The Departed, as in ‘Cody Canada and The Departed”. “We kicked around several ideas for names,“ Canada said. “We’re all from different bands and we wanted something to sound like we came from different places. The Departed was right on the money.” Along with Canada and Plato, The Departed rounds out with Seth James on guitar (Seth James Band, Ray Wylie Hubbard), Steve Littleton on B3 organ and keys (Live Oak Decline, Stoney LaRue & the Arsenals, Medicine Show) and Dave Bowen on drums (Stoney LaRue, Bleu Edmondson, Dale Watson).

Because they have traveled in the same circles for years, the band members are all familiar with each other and familiar with each other’s style of playing. More than likely they’ve all played on the same stage at one time or another already. It’s this familiarity with each other that made their first project so uncomplicated. Although The Departed is writing and will record original material, the band’s first priority was getting into the studio and cutting the Oklahoma tribute album that Cody had been wanting to do for years. The result is This Is Indian Land, The Departed’s debut album set for release this spring.

This Is Indian Land is a 15-track deep “buffet of really kick-ass Okie songs,” Canada states. He jokingly says “It might sound like originals because not many people have ever heard these songs”. But in fact, the album is loaded with well-known selections like Kevin Welch’s “Kickin’ Back in Amsterdam” and “True Love Never Dies”, JJ Cale’s “If You’re Ever in Oklahoma” and Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer Leon Russell’s “Home Sweet Oklahoma”.

Of course there were a few tracks picked for more personal reasons. Cody notes, “’The Ballad of Rosalie’ (Randy Pease) was the first song I ever heard in Stillwater. ‘Little Rain Will Do’ (Greg Jacobs) is just an awesome historical song I’ve been wanting to record since the first time I heard it. Randy Crouch’s ‘Face On Mars’ really kind of frightened us. A lot of people wanted us to do it but we didn’t know what to do with it. We sat there for a whole day trying to get it arranged and find a groove for it. We made it happen and it’s one of my favorites on the album”.

This Is Indian Land was recorded at Yellow Dog Studios in Austin, TX. As if the album content and inspiration weren’t Oklahoma enough for The Departed, Yellow Dog Studios and owner Dave Percefull got their start in Tulsa. “It really kind of tied it all together,” Cody says. “I walked in and saw all the pictures of these Stillwater guys hanging on the wall and thought ‘Man, this is exactly where this album needs to be cut”.

Cody Canada & The Departed is already making waves on the road. With the recording of the album behind them and a brand new year in front, the band has hit the road like only professionals know how to do. As excited as they are about their gigs, they are taking it all very seriously. “It’s funny because with Ragweed we got to a point where we didn’t have to practice. We were playing so many shows we could just get up there and do the tunes, right? Well now it’s a new band playing new songs so we’ve got to learn everything, get our game together and practice. It’s a whole lot of fun. I can’t sleep at night. It keeps me awake, not from worry but from excitement. We’re just ready to tear it up.”

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Average Rating : 5              Total Reviews: 7

Cody Canada & The Departed  02/02/2012            
Kyle Monath Frederick Maryland
Finally a band that throws a great album together were every song is good. From Face on Mars to Hold on Christian and every one in between. Staring Down the Sun has an anthem feel to it. Cover of Going on Back to Tulsa by Leon Russell kicks ass. Skyline Radio is a feel good tune. Can't wait until the put out their next effort. They will have their work cut out to top it, but if anyone can they can.
Cody Canada & The Departed  07/16/2011            
WV Hillbilly
A little different form the ragweed but a well recorded album. This album shows the talent in this band. Keep Rockin' guys!
Cody Canada & The Departed  07/14/2011            
The Departed: "Taking folks to School!" This may be the first album from Cody Canada & the Departed, but they are far from Freshmen. Its more like that unlikely scenario of going back to school & "knowing then, what you know now!" Cody's first solo effort has all of the makings of a classic. Outstanding new original music from Canada combined with some of the best friends/players available makes for an "Epic Debut." with tracks rooted in Oklahoma Soil like "Home Sweet Oklahoma" & "If You're Ever In Oklahoma" to the Rockin' "Kickin' Back in Amsterdam" this album has something for everyone! My personal favorite of this album is "Years In the Making" a hearty rocking tune about Trust. Another favorite is the funky "True Love Never Dies" an interesting twist on classic "Red Dirt" that has a Plato Bass Grove that goes on for days! An eye opening cover of Mel McDaniel's "Stand Up" also sneaks its way on this album filled with some of the best guitar work I've heard in years thanks to Cody * the Infamous Seth James. "Ballad of Rosalie" "Hold On Christian" & the first single " Starin' Down the Sun" round out this amazing album from Cody Canada & the Departed! A must buy, like I had to tell you that!
Cody Canada & The Departed  07/14/2011            
Cody Canada & The Departed  07/14/2011            
Mark Pulliam
When the hard-touring country-rock quartet Cross Canadian Ragweed announced last year that they were taking a hiatus—after 9 albums and 15 years on the road—their cult-like fan base hoped that CCR front man Cody Canada would emerge with a new band, which he did, in the form of The Departed. The five-man group features the charismatic Canada on lead guitar and vocals; CCR’s superb bassist, Jeremy Plato; blues-rocker Seth James on guitars and vocals; Steve Littleton (from the Tulsa-based Medicine Show) on keyboards; and Dave Bowen on drums. The Departed’s self-produced debut album, just released, is This is Indian Land, a tribute to Canada’s “Red Dirt” musical heritage in Oklahoma. The 15 songs are covers of Oklahoma songwriters such as J.J. Cale (“If You’re Ever in Oklahoma”), Leon Russell (“Home Sweet Oklahoma”), Kevin Welch, and members of the Red Dirt scene (Bob Childers, Tom Skinner, Randy Crouch, Scott Evans), all of whom influenced Canada as a budding musician in Stillwater, Oklahoma. (Littleton penned “Any Other Way” with Brad James while with Medicine Show.) Canada lived for a while at Childers’ funky Stillwater compound, nicknamed “The Farm,” where in the late 1980’s and 1990’s the Red Dirt Rangers, Jason Boland, Stoney LaRue, Mike McClure and others experimented with the musical genre blending Western swing, blues, honky tonk, and rock, which now characterizes the Austin alt-country scene. But The Departed are not CCR, and This is Indian Land is not entirely alt-country. The dueling guitars and keyboards—both new for CCR fans—infuse a bluesy sound that varies from psychedelic (“Face on Mars,” “Hold on Christian”) to jazz (“Kickin’ Back in Amsterdam”) to Motown/funk (“True Love Never Dies”). “Any Other Way” and “Years in the Making” recall the early Allman Brothers. Littleton’s excellent keyboards are showcased on “Starin’ Down the Sun” and “If You’re Ever in Oklahoma.” The Departed depart from CCR’s formula in other ways. The blues ballad “Water Your Own Yard” (with harmony vocals by Stoney LaRue) invokes the retro sound popularized by producer T Bone Burnett. The line-up of This is Indian Land is more versatile than standard CCR fare and accompanists are used to good effect, such as the tasty Dobro work by Geoff Queen and harmony vocals by Jessica Murray on “Make Yourself Home.” “Long Way to Nowhere” features lead vocals by Plato and lead guitar by Reckless Kelly’s Dave Abeyta. But fans of CCR will not be disappointed. “Ballad of Rosalie,” written by Randy Pease, features the familiar sound of Canada’s rocking guitar and lead vocals. And “A Little Rain Will Do” and “Skyline Radio” are mainstream alt-country. For a nostalgia-based tribute album, This is Indian Land is remarkably diverse, and satisfying. CCR fans can be relieved that in The Departed Canada has found a platform that complements his formidable talents (including, although not evident here, song writing) and eagerly await a release of original material. Perhaps the demise of CCR is what Canada needed to realize his long-overdue commercial success. Mark Pulliam
Cody Canada & The Departed  06/21/2011            
Okie Musician
Great album!!! The album shows real talent from a very talented group of guys covering some great songs from Okie legends. Live show is great and has great energy. Look forward to an original album by these guys in the future..keep on keepin' on. P.S. Tom Skinner is the shit!!
Cody Canada & The Departed  06/21/2011            
Jared Britt
I knew this album was going to be amazing, but I was wrong. It's F@&$ing Epic. This ain't no 8 song record either, it's worth every penny plus some. Great music, great songs, and over all just well done.
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