Cross Canadian Ragweed

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Cross Canadian Ragweed
Origin Yukon, Oklahoma, USA
Genres Americana, Red Dirt, alternative rock, country rock, heartland rock, Southern rock, Texas country
Years active 1994–2010
Labels Smith Music Group, Universal South
Associated acts Jason Boland & The Stragglers, Wade Bowen, Stoney LaRue, Lee Ann Womack, Doug Moreland, Mike McClure Band, No Justice, Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights, Seth James.
Members Cody Canada,
Grady Cross
Jeremy Plato,
Randy Ragsdale

Cross Canadian Ragweed was an American rock/country band. The name of the band came from the combination of the original band members' names, Grady Cross (guitar), Cody Canada (guitar, vocals), Randy Ragsdale (drums), and original bassist Matt Wiedmann. Jeremy Plato's (bass) name was not involved in the band naming. The band was popular for its distinct sound that did not have a specific genre. Asleep at the Wheel's former frontman Ray Benson said in a 2010 Episode of The Texas Music Scene, "They (Ragweed) have proudly carried the Oklahoma Red Dirt banner for going on 15 years now, but make no mistake about it, these guys are a rock band."

Beginnings[edit]

Cody Canada performing in April 2009

After forming in Yukon, Oklahoma, they moved to the college town of Stillwater, Oklahoma, where acts like Mike McClure's The Great Divide and singer-songwriter Jimmy LaFave had established enough of a local scene to earn Stillwater the nickname North Austin.[1]

Early Years, Carney, and Highway 377[edit]

The group had already received significant college radio airplay before it released its first album, Carney in 1998 on their own independent label. Initially, selling the band in the market it was based in, was far-fetched; however, the fan base's passion and loyalty to the band allowed them to find success in releasing that first album. They soon released Live and Loud at the Wormy Dog Saloon in 1999 and Highway 377 in 2001, all on their own independent label Underground Sound. Live and Loud was received well, and The Highway 377 song "Long Way Home" was featured on several Dodge truck commercials in Texas and Oklahoma. "42 Miles" was also a well received track from Highway 377, the most popular track being "Alabama."

Cross Canadian Ragweed (Purple Album) and Live and Loud at Billy Bob's Texas[edit]

In 2002 Ragweed recorded the highly popular live album "Live and Loud at Billy Bob's Texas" in Fort Worth, Texas. The songs were mainly live versions of songs off of Carney and Highway 377. The group then released a self-titled album also known as "the Purple Album" due to its cover color, which was a tribute to the band's "little sister" Mandy Ragsdale. Mandy was the younger sister of the band's drummer Randy Ragsdale who had died in an auto accident near College Station, Texas on the way to see her brother perform and who's favorite color was purple. The album produced the singles "Anywhere But Here", "17", and the hard rocking track "Don't Need You."

Soul Gravy and Garage[edit]

Their 2004 album, Soul Gravy, debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard charts. Lee Ann Womack provided background vocals on the popular single "Sick and Tired". In October 2005, the band released Garage featuring the single "Fightin' For," which became their first top 40 hit on the alternative country charts, debuting at an impressive No. 45 and reaching No. 39, as well as "Dimebag," a tribute to former Damageplan and Pantera guitarist Darrell Abbott. The other popular tracks off of Garage included the rock tune "Sister" and "This Time Around." The band released a double live CD and DVD on October 31, 2006, Back to Tulsa - Live and Loud at Cain's Ballroom.

Mission California[edit]

Cross Canadian Ragweed recorded Mission California, their sixth studio album, at the end of March 2007. The namesake of the album was due to the recording taking place in San Diego, California. The band spent 25 days in the studio; the first 5 cutting 15 tracks, the next 20 polishing each. Lee Ann Womack once again laid down background vocals on 4 of the tracks to include the Chris Knight cover "Cry Lonely." Mission California was released on October 2, 2007. AllMusic reviewed the Album and found that the project was "name appropriately, the band sounds much more a progressive West Coast sound in many of the tracks and less rural rock."

Happiness and All the Other Things[edit]

Ragweed's tenth album, Happiness and All the Other Things was released on August 31, 2009, commemorating the band's 15th Anniversary. It featured 12 new studio tracks and three live tracks. Recorded in California, this album includes a track entitled "51 Pieces", which Canada penned with Mickey Braun. The song was based on an incident where Ohio State police ransacked the band's bus after a stop in Cleveland at the House of Blues. It also featured "Blue Bonnets" which is dedicated to Cody's oldest son Dierks. Happiness and All the Other Things was officially dedicated to the late Randall Locke (Willie Nelson's long-time stage manager) who suddenly died on May 6, 2009. Other popular tracks were "To Find my Love", and "Kick In The Head."

Hiatus and Band Break-Up[edit]

In May 2010, Cross Canadian Ragweed announced a hiatus from touring. In a band press release, Ragsdale explained, "Right now, I need to be at home for my family, particularly my son JC, who has autism. He's 10 years old now and still struggling in his development. I feel the only way I can help him is to be more hands on and close to home." Despite Ragsdale wanting to "get another drummer and press on," Canada stated "We’ve always said from the start, we’re Ragweed as the four of us, or not Ragweed at all." [2] In September 2010, Canada officially announced the band was calling it quits by announcing their "Last Call Show" in October, 2010 at Joe's Bar in Chicago, IL, stating "as far as that’s concerned, Oct 24 is the last one, the last gig."[3]

Post Break-Up[edit]

Since Cross Canadian Ragweed, Canada and Plato formed The Departed with fellow Yukon-native Dave Bowen (drums), Seth James (guitar), and Steve Littleton (keyboards), releasing their debut album "This Is Indian Land" in June, 2011.[4] Ragsdale and Cross both returned to Yukon and Ragsdale tours with Stoney Larue as of December 2011. Cross purchased and operates the bar that was the very first venue Cross Canadian Ragweed performed in 1994.[5][6]

Notable appearances[edit]

The band frequently played with country music star Dierks Bentley and other stars of the Red Dirt scene including Stoney Larue, Micky & The Motorcars, Reckless Kelly, (Canada's brother-in-law) Wade Bowen, No Justice, Johnny Cooper, Seth James, and Brandon Rhyder. Bentley referenced the band in his song "Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go)", singing that "Ragweed's rockin' on the radio".

Minor League baseball player Adam Boeve uses "Anywhere But Here" as his intro music. Minnesota Twins catcher, Ryan Doumit, comes to bat to their song "Alabama".

"Cry Lonely" is a playable track in Rock Band Country Track Pack.

The song "Boys from Oklahoma" plays as the credits roll in the movie Leaves of Grass starring Edward Norton and Susan Sarandon.[7] The film is a Stoner Comedy set in Oklahoma.

"Anywhere But Here" is played during the Season 2 Episode 6 of the NBC television series Grimm.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart
positions
US Country
[8]
US
[9]
Carney
  • Release date: July 17, 1998
  • Label: Smith Music Group
  • Formats: CD, cassette
Highway 377
  • Release date: January 2, 2001
  • Label: Smith Music Group
  • Formats: CD
Cross Canadian Ragweed 70
Soul Gravy
  • Release date: March 9, 2004
  • Label: Universal South Records
  • Formats: CD, music download
5 51
Garage
  • Release date: October 4, 2005
  • Label: Universal South Records
  • Formats: CD, music download
6 37
Mission California
  • Release date: October 2, 2007
  • Label: Universal South Records
  • Formats: CD, music download
6 30
Happiness and All the Other Things
  • Release date: August 31, 2009
  • Label: Universal South Records
  • Formats: CD, music download
10 33
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Live albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
US Country
[8]
US
[9]
US
Indie

[10]
Live and Loud at the Wormy Dog Saloon
  • Release date: October 29, 1999
  • Label: Broken Records
  • Formats: CD, cassette
Live and Loud at Billy Bob's Texas
  • Release date: July 9, 2002
  • Label: Smith Music Group
  • Formats: CD
43
Back to Tulsa - Live and Loud at Cain's Ballroom
  • Release date: October 31, 2006
  • Label: Universal South Records
  • Formats: CD, music download
27 120
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak positions Album
US Country
[11]
2002 "17" 57 Cross Canadian Ragweed
2003 "Constantly" 57
2004 "Sick and Tired" 46 Soul Gravy
"Alabama" 46
2005 "Fightin' For" 39 Garage
2006 "This Time Around" 43
"Late Last Night"
2007 "I Believe You" Mission California
2008 "Cry Lonely" 59
2009 "Kick in the Head" Happiness and All the Other Things
"To Find My Love"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
2001 "Look at Me" Darren Cameron
2002 "Don't Need You" Roger Pistole
"17"
2003 "Constantly"
2004 "Sick and Tired" (with Lee Ann Womack) Eric Welch
"Alabama" Stephen Shepherd
2005 "Fightin' For" Trey Fanjoy
2006 "Late Last Night" Rob Dennis
2008 "I Believe You"

References[edit]

External links[edit]