Cross Canadian Ragweed

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Cross Canadian Ragweed
CodyCanadaApr09.jpg
Background information
Origin Yukon, Oklahoma, USA
Genres Southern Rock
Alternative Country
Alternative Rock
Country Rock
Heartland Rock
Red Dirt
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, Brandon Jenkins, Seth James.
Members Cody Canada,
Grady Cross
Jeremy Plato,
Randy Ragsdale

Cross Canadian Ragweed was an American southern rock/alternative country band formed in Yukon, Oklahoma in 1994. The band consisted of Cody Canada (lead guitar/vocals), Grady Cross (guitar), Randy Ragsdale (drums), and Jeremy Plato (bass guitar). From 1994-2010, the group released 6 studio albums and 3 live albums. The band was at the forefront of the rise of the red dirt music scene in Oklahoma and the country rock music scene in both Oklahoma in Texas. After almost 15 years together, the group disbanded in 2010.

Formation[edit]

Cross Canadian Ragweed started when Randy Ragsdale and original bass guitar player Matt Weidemann, who had been playing in local bands together, met Cody Canada and Grady Cross who had also been playing together. The 4 had known each other since grade school and started playing together in Ragsdale's home 7 nights a week under the tutelage of Ragsdale's father Johnny, who had worked with country music artists and local folk and rock artists also. After playing together, the band officially formed by combining a part of every band member's last name, coming up with the name Cross Canadian Ragweed. Weidemann left the group shortly after and Jeremy Plato joined to play the bass guitar. After finishing high school, the band 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]

Carney and Live And Loud At The Wormy Dog Saloon[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 considered by music observers to be far-fetched; however, the fan base's passion and loyalty to the band allowed them to find success in releasing that first album. Carney was well received, then the band released Live and Loud at the Wormy Dog Saloon in 1999, which was also well received, especially in the local scene.

Highway 377[edit]

Ragweed released it's second studio album Highway 377 in 2001. It propelled them into wider audience and into Texas, where Canada was born and also where the band had been touring heavily. Though not a released single, the song "Long Way Home" was featured on several Dodge Truck Commercials in both Texas and Oklahoma which added to the popularity of the band. The biggest hits from the album were the songs "Alabama" and "42 Miles", a song about being stuck in the town of Groom, Texas as their car had broken down on their way to a show in Amarillo, Tx, which was 42 miles away.

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, with a handful of cover songs. 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, who 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 whose favorite color was purple. The album produced the hard rocking tracks "Anywhere But Here" and "Don't Need You" along with their released single "17", and the popular folk infused song, "Brooklyn Kid."

Soul Gravy[edit]

Ragweed's 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". The project also saw the re-release of the song "Alabama" which became a big hit as well with a heavier electric sound that was very well received. Other popular tracks off the album were the rock track "Cold Hearted Woman", and "Lonely Girl", a song that Canada had written for and dedicated to his sister, who would later marry fellow rocker Wade Bowen.

Garage[edit]

In October 2005 the band released Garage, described by both the band and raters at allmusic.com as the groups "grungiest album ever." Two songs, "Fighting' For" and "This Time Around" both became hits off the album. Other popular tracks off the album were "Sister". "After All", and "Lighthouse Keeper." The album charted higher than any studio album the band ever released and for the first time, the band had songs played by rock radio stations in Oklahoma and Classic Rock stations across the country also, mainly the song "Dimebag", a tribute to former Damageplan and Pantera guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, who had been killed months earlier during a concert.

Back To Tulsa: Live And Loud At Cain's Ballroom[edit]

In Late 2006, Ragweed released their third and final live album Live and Loud At Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The band's 24 song project was very well received and featured songs from their previous projects The Purple Album, Soul Gravy, and Garage. It also featured a handful of covers as well. The newspaper The Oklahoman wrote in review of the album "Ragweed's fans who like country music will like it, Ragweed's Rock and Roll fans will completely love it."

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]

The band's tenth and final 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", "Burn Like The Sun", 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]

Influences[edit]

One of the notable observations that music critics made was how popular Ragweed was across music fans. Canada said that rock bands such as Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, AC/DC, and Soundgarden all were a part of the influence on the band's sound as well as country music influences Merle Haggard. Willie Nelson, and Robert Earl Keen.

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]