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Cross Canadian Ragweed established themselves as a relentless touring band throughout the Texas/Oklahoma area and then broadened their reach, nationally releasing several albums of rabble-rousing alt-country. Formed in 1994 in Stillwater, OK, the band took its name from those of its members: frontman and lead guitarist Cody Canada, drummer Randy Ragsdale, rhythm guitarist Grady Cross, and bassist Jeremy Plato. Though the band toured heavily from its inception, establishing a particularly strong fan base in Texas, it didn't release its first album until 2001 when Underground Sound released Highway 377. Two more releases for the label followed, Live and Loud at the Wormy Dog (2001) and Carney (2002), before the band moved to Smith Music Group for Live and Loud at Billy Bob's Texas (2002). In 2004 the group signed to Universal South and released Soul Gravy, followed by Garage in October of 2005. The band released the double live CD/DVD Back to Tulsa: Live and Loud at Cain's Ballroom in 2006, followed by its sixth studio album, Mission California, in 2007. Happiness and All the Other Things, which was dedicated to Willie Nelson's late stage manager Randall "Poodie" Locke, arrived in 2009.
Cross Canadian Ragweed was an American Red Dirt/Texas Country/Country rock band. The name of the band came from the combination of three band members' names, Grady Cross (guitar), Cody Canada (guitar, vocals), and Randy Ragsdale (drums). Jeremy Plato's (bass) name was not involved in the band naming.
Although the initials of the band are the same as Creedence Clearwater Revival, that is a mere coincidence. The name actually is a combination of the names of founding members Grady Cross, Cody Canada, Randy Ragsdale and Matt Wiedemann.
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.
The group had already received significant college radio airplay before it released its first album, Carney in 1998. 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.
In 2002 they released a self-titled album also known as "the purple album" due to its cover color, which is a tribute to the band's "little sister" "Mandy Ragsdale". who had recently died in an auto accident.
Their 2004 album,Soul Gravy, debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard Country charts. In October 2005, the band released their album Garage featuring the single "Fightin' For," which became their first top 40 hit on the country charts, debuting at an impressive No. 45 and reaching No. 39, as well as "Dimebag," a tribute to Darrell Abbott. The band released a double live CD and DVD on October 31, 2006, Back to Tulsa - Live and Loud at Cain's Ballroom. Cross Canadian Ragweed recorded Mission California, their sixth studio album, at the end of March 2007. They spent 25 days in the studio; the first 5 cutting 15 tracks, the next 20 polishing each. It was recorded in San Diego, California. Lee Ann Womack 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. Ragweed's tenth album, Happiness and All the Other Things was released on August 31, 2009, commemorating the band's 15th Anniversary. It includes 12 new studio tracks and three live tracks. Recorded in California, this album includes a track entitled "Blue Bonnets" which is dedicated to Cody's oldest son Dierks. Happiness and All the Other Things was officially dedicated to the late Randall "Poodie" Locke (Willie Nelson's long-time stage manager) who died on May 6, 2009.
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."
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.”
In a March 2012 interview, Canada said the band's breakup was based on more than Ragsdale's need to be with his family, implying that tension with Cross was also a factor. "We just wanted to protect the name of the band", he said. "There was one person who wasn't happy from an artistic or business perspective."
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 in June, 2011.
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."Band Name Stories: Cross Canadian Ragweed". "North Austin". "Cross Canadian Ragweed cancels Oklahoma City Family Jam". "Cross Canadian Ragweed frontman's career evolves". "Cody Canada Talks About The Past and Present". "Cody Canada & The Departed digging into red dirt roots with debut album, "This Is Indian Land"". "Local musician puts family first with new business". "Former Cross Canadian Ragweed rocker returns to his roots with opening of Yukon pub".
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. The film is a Stoner Comedy set in Oklahoma.Leaves of Grass (2009) Soundtrack Listing