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Cross Canadian Ragweed grows up in 'Garage'

Oct. 4, 2005

by ELIZABETH MENDEZ,assistant city editor

With four studio and two live albums under its belt, Cross Canadian Ragweed is back again with Garage which was released today.

Front man and lead guitarist Cody Canada said the album is an extension of the band's 2004 album, Soul Gravy.

Writing or co-writing 11 of the 14 tracks on Garage, the boys from Oklahoma have not only been busy with their careers but with their personal lives as well. Three of the four members became fathers in a four month period. But according to Canada, touring doesn't hold a candle to fatherhood.

Courtesy photo
Garage features metaphorical, mature lyrics while maintaining its original sound.
"I told my wife a couple times that having a kid is so much bigger that any gig."

Formed in 1994 in Stillwater, Okla., the band took its name from the names of its members: Canada, drummer Randy Ragsdale, rhythm guitarist Grady Cross and bassist Jeremy Plato.

Canada compared his relationship with the rest of the band as a brotherhood and said they all count on each other when they're on the road away from their families.

"We're doing what we have to do," Canada said. "It's just a part of everyday life that we have to deal with."

Without abandoning the sound fans have grown to love, Garage expands on new ideas older fans might not be used to hearing.

Their first album, Carney, introduced fans of Texas country to the Red Dirt scene and their Oklahoma-brand of alternative country. Though Garage maintains their original country/rock sound, listeners will hear that the lyrics on the new album are more metaphorical and mature than Carney.

The first track on the album, "Fightin' For," displays the turmoil of love gone wrong, similar to "Constantly," from its third album, Purple.

"You may won this battle, baby/Don't mean I won't win the war/And you, you don't even know what it is that you're fightin' for."

The track, "When It All Goes Down," co-written with Texas-country musician Wade Bowen, discusses moral decisions faced in everyday life.

"When it's said and done/ Sit back and watch the show/ When it all goes down/There ain't nobody knows."

On the rode to success, Canada said the band has not let fame get in the way of what they truly love to do -- entertain fans.

This summer at Dallas' Lone Star Park, Cross Canadian Ragweed broke Willie Nelson's attendance record set in 2002. Nearly 25,000 people came to the show, but Canada said the numbers aren't the only thing that matters to him.

"I can't explain how exciting that was," Canada said. "I don't care if we had 5,000 people, Willie is the king, and I was really excited to have had that many people."

Not allowing this level of success to interfere with their humility, Canada said he was honored when the band was asked to play for the troops at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.

"We do as much as we can for military people," he said. "Every time we go to Colorado, we play for the Air Force Academy."

"Whether you're for the war or against the war, you have to take care of these people," he said.

There is one goal Canada said he believes is unattainable.

"I'd like to make all the fans happy all the time, but I think that's an unreachable goal."