Cross Canadian Ragweed's Red Dirt vibe officially flatlined on October, 24, 2010 when the band played their last gig at Joe's Sports Bar in Chicago. And even though that was a well-publicized fact, a lot of diehard CCR fans were still going to Cody Canada and the Departed concerts screaming out requests for Ragweed tunes.
While that used to be a pretty common occurrence, evidence of a change emerged recently when the Departed played at the Braun Brothers Reunion Festival in Challis, Idaho. Instead of yelling out requests for Ragweed hits like, "Sick and Tired," or "17," Departed fans were requesting tunes from their first album, This Is Indian Land. They were also hungry for some new material.
So to appease these "new" Departed fans, the guys decided they would play the 13 songs from their soon-to-be-released debut album, Adventus, back-to-back. While the album has a title, it has yet to be given a release date. Canada is shooting for a fall release.
So why is the band's second album being tagged as a debut record?
Here's the thing. While This Is Indian Land is the band's first album, Canada doesn't consider it a debut. All of the tracks on This Is Indian Land are performed by the band, but that's as far as it goes. It's Canada's tribute album to many of the Okie songwriters who influenced him over the course of his career.
This Is Indian Land was actually supposed to be a Ragweed project, but because of the breakup and some contractual issues, Canada had to shelve it. Finally, after ten years, he was able to cut the record with the Departed.
"Putting out that album is something that I've wanted to do for years," he says. "But contractual obligations wouldn't allow us to do it. And the thing with this record [Adventus] is that everybody gets to shine. Everybody gets a turn.
"It's pretty thick, you know," adds Canada. "I've been listening to a lot of Ragweed stuff versus the new stuff, and it's really cool. I'm not saying Ragweed is hollow. I love it, I still do."
After the breakup, Canada and Ragweed bassist Jeremy Plato decided they would throw in with guitarist Seth James, drummer Dave Bowen and keys player Steve Littleton. The experience each man brought to the band, as well as having a keys player, made for a rootsy rock vibe that Ragweed just couldn't produce.
While This Is Indian Land was proof of that, Canada says the new album will far better exhibit each member's talents.
And even now there are still those diehard Ragweed fans who shout out requests for something from the Purple album, but Canada doesn't mind as much as he used to. He now realizes that anything he or Plato put their hearts into, especially together, will always in part be Ragweed.
"We do put five or six Ragweed tunes in a set, and it all dies down," Canada says. "I've definitely made peace with that, but people are ready for the change now."
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