Inquiring Minds

The Departed Start Over Again With Hippielovepunk

North or south of the Red River, pedigrees don't come any purer than Cody Canada & the Departed. Not so long ago, Cody Canada and Jeremy Plato were part of Cross Canadian Ragweed, the rangy Oklahoma rockers whose small-town spin on Steve Earle-style diesel-country was all the rage in Stillwater by the end of the millennium. For the next decade CCR's music spread like a brush fire, with songs like "17" and "Sick and Tired" helping them become one of the top-drawing acts in the Southwest and leading to several albums on Universal South, with 2006's Soul Gravy the arguable pick of the litter.

The band was an essential part of a scene that was growing so fast it soon had its own nickname: Texas country -- or, because CCR's fellow Okies like Stoney LaRue, Jason Boland and the Turnpike Troubadors were making just as much noise as Texans such as Pat Green, Kevin Fowler and Reckless Kelly -- Red Dirt music. But when CCR split in 2010, Canada and Plato wasted no time in forming the Departed, adding respected Austin blues-rock guitarist Seth James to the lineup and debuting with 2011's This Is Indian Land, a collection of covers by Oklahoma songwriters from J.J. Cale and Leon Russell to Kevin Welch. James stepped to the fore on the next year's Adventus (Latin for "arrival"), writing most of the songs the album, but decided to leave the Departed amicably about a year later.

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray