Cross Canadian Ragweed

Cross Canadian Ragweed
Cross Canadian Ragweed Videos

Let’s get this straight right off the bat, though it should be obvious to any and all who have been listening over the last decade or so: Cross Canadian Ragweed are a rock’n’roll band. “They may be the last great Southern rock band still stomping the boards,” says All Music Guide, while USA Today proclaims that “this ferociously rocking band is one of the better-kept secrets around.” But not a secret for much longer, as their seventh studio album, Happiness and All The Other Things, amply proves. And, yes, being from a small town in Oklahoma and two of them now residing in the Lone Star State (where they are kings of the thriving Red Dirt/Texas music scene), Cross Canadian Ragweed also qualify as country, and have even played The Grand Ole Opry. It’s only natural, part of the musical heritage that the members of the band grew up on. Ragweed’s utterly natural Southwestern rock style abounds on Happiness and All The Other Things. The 12-track opus opens with a one/two punch/kiss combo that sets the band’s wide parameters: The fiercely rocking road tale “51 Pieces” followed by a sweet taste of the Texas Hill Country springtime on “Blue Bonnets,” whose sparse and lovely arrangement features harmonium by Joe Hardy (the star recording engineer who mixed the album) and dobro by noted musician and producer Lloyd Maines (also the father of Dixie Chick Natalie Maines). And then it only gets better. Produced by the band’s longtime compatriot and artist in his own right Mike McClure, the album also features harmony vocals and piano by Stephanie Briggs, who co-wrote many of the songs with Canada. “We wanted to make something that sounds different than anything else we’ve done,” explains singer, songwriter and lead guitarist Cody Canada. And to wit, the disc ranges from rockers that soar (“Burn Like The Sun”), sear (“Drag” and “Overtable”) and groove (“To Find My Love,” sung by bassist Jeremy Plato) to such mid-tempo gems as “Kick In The Head” (with a 1970s California country-rock feel lit by sparkling steel guitar from Maines), “Pretty Lady,” “Tomorrow” and “Confident” (with its echoes of Tom Petty), all of it finally capped by the spectral Beatlesque ballad “My Chances” (and then followed by a bonus track of Warren Zevon’s “Carmelita”). And within the album’s many modes and moods, the proud legacy of American rock’n’roll gets renewed and reinvigorated for the modern age. It follows on the heels of Mission California, which hit #6 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and #30 on the Top 100 week of release, all without the benefit of major radio airplay. Texas Music magazine hailed the album as “a disc that’s bad-ass and nationwide with a swagger that finds them playing their way firmly into the pantheon of great American rock’n’roll bands, Southern division, right up there with rebel generals like the Allmans, Skynyrd, Georgia Satellites and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.” All of that is no secret to Cross Canadian Ragweed’s legion of fans across the nation, especially those in the Texas/Oklahoma area who have supported the band from the start. It’s a rare bond of mutual loyalty between a group and its listeners that was grown the good ole grassroots way — organically if you will — through years of dedicated road work and delivering the nutritious rock goods that keep the fans coming back for more. Thanks to such fervent support, Ragweed hosts three annual festivals: their Music & Mayhem concert every Memorial Day back home in Oklahoma, which just celebrated its third year; the band’s Red Dirt Roundup in Texas, every Labor Day, now in its third year packing the Fort Worth Stockyards with 20,000 plus revelers — this festival was featured in a 2007 New York Times article on Cross Canadian Ragweed as the leading lights of the Red Dirt scene; and their Family Jam held every year at the Zoo Amphitheatre in Oklahoma City to benefit Mandi’s Ministries, a charity founded by drummer Randy Ragsdale dedicated to his sister who passed away in a car accident in 2001. It all began in Yukon, Oklahoma, where Canada, Plato, guitarist Grady Cross and drummer Randy Ragsdale all grew up together. “We’ve known each other forever,” Canada says. And in a small town with nothing much going on, what could the four boys do 14 years ago but start a rock’n’roll band? “We’re country boys that rock’n’roll,” Canada explains, crediting their propulsive and rocking roots style to “the kind of stuff we grew up on. My sister had nothing but Creedence, Skynyrd and Marshall Tucker just blasting out of her room. Then you’d go to the poolroom and my dad would be listening to Merle Haggard, Willie, Johnny Paycheck and George Strait. At Grady’s house it was the same thing: His older brother would be listening to Skynyrd, his dad would be listening to Merle. And Randy’s dad, he played with Merle and Bob Wills and all those guys.” The foursome eventually moved to Stillwater, OK, the college town that has been the state’s musical breeding ground, and also started winning over Texas with a weekly gig in the Lone Star musical mecca of Austin. After releasing two studio albums and two live discs on their own label that generated handsome indie sales and becoming a top live attraction in both states, the group’s crackling regional buzz caught the ear of music business legend Tony Brown, who signed Cross Canadian Ragweed to Universal Records South. Over their four previous major label albums — Cross Canadian Ragweed (aka “the purple album”), Soul Gravy, Garage and Mission California — Ragweed has reaped a slew of rave reviews and began cracking the country Top 10 and pop Top 40 charts while expanding its fervent Southwestern following nationwide with dedicated touring throughout every year. To get prepped to hit the studio for Happiness and All The Other Things, the band were joined by McClure and Briggs onstage for a road trip from Chicago to Southern California, where they all ensconced themselves together in a house and nearby studio to lay down the album. As with their previous releases, a unifying thread emerged by sheer fortuity from the songs as they were recorded. “It seems like every record we make there’s always a theme, but it’s never really on purpose,” notes Canada. “It just kind of happens.” This time out, “We call it Happiness and All The Other Things because it’s also sad,” Canada explains. “I write a lot from watching other people’s relationships, and there were a lot crumbling down around me. I just watched everyone else’s life unravel and also looked at mine, and it can be either happy or sad.” At the heart of Cross Canadian Ragweed is a spirit and sound that the Arizona Daily Star hails as “simple, driving rock — common-man’s poetry set to music.” And it works marvelously for the group, two of whom now live in and around the burgeoning musical center of New Braunfels, Texas in between Austin and San Antonio, while Cross and Ragsdale hold down the home front back in Oklahoma. But any physical distance between them has no effect on their dedication to going the distance as a band. “We were all friends first, so that is a big factor in it,” Cross explains. “We’ve been through the van days; we were in a van with a trailer for seven years, so you learn everyone’s buttons real quick. So once you get past all that, I think you’ve got it made. We’ve always been pretty tight. I think the music really keeps us together.” And as is evident from the musical unity and passion that brims throughout Happiness and All The Other Things, “We love doing what we do,” concludes Canada. "If you love doing what you do and you can feed your family, keep doing it”
Date Venue City State Note
No Tour Dates Available
10/24/2010 - Goodbye to Ragweed  - Read More
09/01/2010 - A New Direction For Ragweed Member - Read More
06/17/2010 - Sheena Easton, Cross Canadian Ragweed & more added to California Mid-State Fair - Read More
06/11/2010 - Headliner announced for annual festival - Read More
More News
No Blogs Available
09/01/2005 - Cross Canadian Ragweed Q&A - Read More
09/01/2005 - Cody Canada (Cross Canadian Ragweed) Q&A - Read More
05/01/2004 - Cody Canada (Cross Canadian Ragweed) Q&A '04 - Read More
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Average Rating : 4.5              Total Reviews: 1071

Cross Canadian Ragweed  06/15/2010            
i want to rate these guys 5 stars because their music was awesome back when they were from where i am from. but now it is all nashville crap and the sad thing is, is that i bought this album too after thinking WTF on the mission california album. we don't want hippies, vegans, nashville money or critics. WE WANT RED DIRT! we helped you do what you love and feed your family doing it so let us hear real music like you used to make!
Cross Canadian Ragweed  05/19/2010            
Cross Canadian Ragweed  03/30/2010            
Thank you to the annoying chic who decided she wanted to be a part of this album by screaming at the top of her lungs throughout entire live recording of Soul Agent… once I noticed it, seems it’s the only thing I can hear … again, thanks!
Cross Canadian Ragweed  03/03/2010            
this thag sucks just like misn calf. no heart,no soul. just bland nashville crap.come on guys i really like you.lets get back to tulsa, or ft worth.
Cross Canadian Ragweed  01/28/2010            
Saw the show in Rainbow City/Gadsden Alabama. Husbands birthday in November & he loved his gift. Front row, it was great! Thanks for the guitar picks Grady. Sorry for the low turn out, promotion seemed to be bad but the venue was great. Lots of age differeces in the audiance & true CCR fans. Will check web cites from now on to keep up with show dates & promote the hell out of you guys myself! Keep up the great music, love the versitality. Gotta say Stephanie Briggs should be traveling with ya'll, she has a great voice.
Cross Canadian Ragweed  12/16/2009            
Keep it a rockin see you all at house of blues!
Cross Canadian Ragweed  12/10/2009            
I say this is their best yet and here is why. I like the fact that this isn't a repete record like some bands tend to put out. The lyercs are better as well as the production and musician ship it shows that they are still growing and have not resorted to sucking a dry tit like say Stoney who hasn't put out a record in over 2 years. if you like the old stuff better because it's more raw and unprofessional that makes sence lots of people feel closer to a band when they still sound like they did 10 years ago however if ragweed put out a record that sounded like their live at the wormydog cd at this point in their career they would be laughed out of the state and called hacks. These guys have worked their asses off to continue writing and recording new music if you are not happy with the direction they are going as artist then that is your choice. But if you are willing to grow a little and expand your own musical boundry then I say continue to buy new music and listen to it with open ears instead of hoping for a new record to sound like the one you allready have.
Cross Canadian Ragweed  12/01/2009            
I wasn't a big fan of Mission California either. Love the older, more impromptu music. The last two albums seem a little dark sometimes. It seems like a different style altogether. Love you guys, but get back to what got you here. Thanks for letting Joe sing with you on stage at the Rib Fest in STL!!
Cross Canadian Ragweed  11/24/2009            
Dan in Mass
I just opened Happiness, the name says it all. I have listened to Cross Canadian Ragweed since I bought the Purple Album when it came out. Spread the word, this is a album and band that needs to be listened too! Music, lyrics and no fear. Keep it up!!!
Cross Canadian Ragweed  11/11/2009            
CCR continues to put out good music time after time. To those who say "it's not 'this album' or 'that album'", of course it isn't. If you want to buy albums that all sound the same, go check out Nickelback or Daughtry. The Boys from Oklahoma keep cranking out tunes with creativity and are willing to explore other avenues than have already been pursued. Keep on rockin' boys!!
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