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 : 0              Total Reviews: 1071

Cross Canadian Ragweed  10/03/2007            
Lubbock, Texas
I’m not impressed. Personally, Cody Canada needs to go back to find his roots. The song writing is horrible. This isn’t Ragweed! BAD…
Cross Canadian Ragweed  10/03/2007            
The more I listen to this CD, the more it grows on me. I am a hardcore Ragweed fan, so they never let me down. Yes it is different, but it works for me. I love NYCG and actually like the pop sound of it. "In Oklahome" is another of my faves along with Lawerence, and I Believe. All in All good job, its good to witness a change. I also like the fact that Plato got to sind on the album as well. Keep oup the great lyrics Cody!
Cross Canadian Ragweed  10/03/2007            
the best work so far by these guys! i love this cd.
Cross Canadian Ragweed  10/03/2007            
leaving tennessee will be on itunes in about a week
Cross Canadian Ragweed  10/03/2007            
Ragweed is a great band with a lot of musical talent, and I think they are exploring more with what they can do now. It is a good new album, certainly not the best, but it still has that same attitude that a lot of the others have. With time the songs grow on you, and you will come to like it, but some of the songs are quite a bit different in sound, and it will catch you off guard from the orinigal standpoint of Ragweed.
Cross Canadian Ragweed  10/03/2007            
M Kitt
I have anticipated this album for a while now and got my hands on it as soon as I could. After listening to it a couple times I realize that these guys are big time now. They have gotten better on each album and this ablum is no different. Good music is a winding road, bad music is like the highway between Dallas and Fort Worth and as long as these guys keep twisting it up they are going to be alright.
Cross Canadian Ragweed  10/03/2007            
Not impressed at all! this cd doesn't come close to many of there previous album like 377, Purple, Soul Gravy, or even Garage... believe me i'm not one of those "play Carney Man!!" or "boys from mobilehoma!!" fans I know my s**t when it comes to good music...
Cross Canadian Ragweed  10/02/2007            
NYCG!NYCG!NYCG! Love the record guys!
Cross Canadian Ragweed  10/02/2007            
i don't understand what people mean when they say this is different than their normal stuff. what is their normal stuff? i mean can you compare carney man to fightin for? i don't think so. you can't classify their music. this cd is creative and i think it shows a collaboration of style that includes everything they've done to this point. it also ventures into new areas.. i personally think this is a very cool cd and may be the best sound/songwriting they have done. they are definitely evolving in a positive direction which is hard because they have always been awesome
Cross Canadian Ragweed  10/02/2007            
I was at Best Buy as they opened the doors in anticipation of this CD. At first I was a bit let down after skipping through the songs. After listening to it all of the way through I liked it, the second time, I loved it. The sound is different from Garage, but has overtones from earlier stuff that I think is great, all in all, probably the best from a great band. Mike McClure did a great job producing with the band, looking forward to the continued growth from an awesome group. By the way, drop the lables of "Nashville" and "Texas Country". Who really gives a sh&t as long as the music and lyrics are solid and from the heart.
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