It wasn’t just a statement. It was a pact, a promise and a plan to go it together or not at all. And it was upheld in 2010 when Cross Canadian Ragweed announced its hiatus from touring with no definitive plan to reunite, despite CCR drummer Randy Ragsdale’s wanting the band to “get another drummer and press on.”
At the time, Randy had explained in a band press release that “Right now, I need to be 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.”
Well, Cross Canadian Ragweed band members upheld their “We’re Ragweed as the four of us or not Ragweed at all” pact, by announcing their “Last Call Show” in October 2010 at Joe’s Bar in Chicago, IL and played “the last gig” on October 24, 2010.
And to commemorate the outstanding legacy of this Red Dirt Rockin’ Texas Country Music history, Show Dog-Universal Music has packaged all original Cross Canadian Ragweed Universal Records South releases into a box set sure to compliment both the band and your country music collection. “Box of Weed” is available at retailers and Amazon.com as of November 15, 2011.
And since “the last gig” , CCR singer Cody Canada and bassist Jeremy Plato formed Cody Canada & The Departed along with fellow Yukon drummer Dave Bowen, Texas guitarist Seth James and Tulsa keyboardist Steve Littleton. They released their 18-track debut album “This is Indian Land” in June 2011. Randy Ragsdale and Grady Cross both returned to Yukon, OK, where Ragsdale has since opened up a landscaping business and Cross purchased and operates the bar that was the very first venue CCR performed in 1991.
Where it All Began . . .
It all began in Yukon, Oklahoma, where Canada, Plato, Cross and Ragsdale grew up together. “We’ve known each other forever,” Canada says. “We’re country boys that rock’n’roll,” crediting their style to “the kind of stuff we grew up on.” The band released two studio albums (“Carney” and “Highway 377”) and two live discs (“Live and Loud at the Wormy Dog Saloon” and “Live and Loud at Billy Bob’s Texas”) on their own independent label that generated sales, fans, top live attraction and attention. The group’s rockin’ sound rose from the south and caught the ear of country music legend Tony Brown, who signed Cross Canadian Ragweed to Universal Records South.
Previously sharing the longtime musical and personal brotherhood of the group, Canada is noted having said “I guarantee you that if we’re off the road for a week and a half, we start jonesing for it.” He continued, “I see my sister maybe 10 times a year, and that’s not nearly enough. But I see these guys almost every day. And if I go a couple of days without ‘em, I have to call ‘em – hey, what are you doing? We’re closer than brothers most of the time. I’ve seen brothers fight more than we do. And if somebody gets their panties twisted over something, we sit ‘em down and say, hey, what’s wrong? Well, this is bothering me. Well, let’s fix it and get over it and go rock’n’roll, because it ain’t that bad.”
“We’ve always gotten along,” adds band guitarist Jeremy Plato. “We’ve always shared our musical tastes with one another. We’ve always just tried to make it work and not let the little things get in the way of the big picture. We love playing live – that’s our deal.”
Gone But Not Forgotten . . .
Well, whether you’ve followed Cross Canadian Ragweed from their own Independent Label days or caught up with them during their time with “Universal Records South” releasing “The Purple Album” (a dedication to drummer Ragsdale’s little sister Mandy who had died in an auto accident), “Soul Gravy”, “Garage”, “Mission California”, “Happiness and All the Other Things” and their double live CD/DVD “Back to Tulsa – Live & Loud at Cain’s Ballroom”, you’ve no doubt heard or heard of this Red-Dirt-Texas-Southern-Country-Rock phenomena.
With fan favorites like “17” (my favorite and first introduction to the band) and follow-up “Constantly” off their Universal Records South debut album to their last single “I Believe You” and 2010 CCR Finale Cross Canadian Ragweed has made its mark on country music fans, artists and the industry. “We love doing what we do,” Canada shares. “If you love doing what you do and you can feed your family, keep doing it”.
A Salute to the Fans . . .
CMT.com has noted that “Cross Canadian Ragweed triumphs at ‘showing folks how hard country can rock’.” All Music Guide once suggested “They may be the last great Southern rock band still stomping the boards.” And USA Today previously proclaimed that “this ferociously rocking band is one of the better-kept secrets around.”
While such statements are extremely rewarding, fans don’t usually need industry accolades and commemoration to convince them their band rocks. So I suppose comments like that are no secret to Cross Canadian Ragweed fans across the nation who’ve been with and supported the band through years of being on the road delivering awesome southern country rock that kept them coming back for more.
So what happens if you’ve missed getting to know this outstanding southern Texas rock sensation first hand?
Well, if you’ve not had the opportunity to experience Cross Canadian Ragweed during the tenure of their time together, you can still enjoy this country music legacy by virtue of a departing salute to the fans …
Show Dog – Universal Music has just released the first-ever box set of Texas rocker’s Cross Canadian Ragweed. “Box of Weed” includes all original releases by Universal Records South and is available in stores and at Amazon.com as of November 15, 2011.
- Cross Canadian Ragweed (also known as the ‘purple’ album) – 2002
- Soul Gravy – 2004
- Garage -2005
- Mission California – 2007
- Happiness And All The Other Things – 2009
- And also included is the live DVD, Back To Tulsa: Live and Loud At Cain’s Ballroom – 2006
The band may have dissolved but the Cross Canadian Ragweed legacy lives on. Show Dog – Universal Music has JUST RELEASED this box set so be sure to pick up Cross Canadian Ragweed’s “Box of Weed” and be part of this phenomenal southern rockin’ country music history. Your country collection’s incomplete without it!
Cross Canadian Ragweed’s October 24, 2010 Finale at Joes’ Bar in Chicago, IL