Cross Canadian Ragweed

Cross Canadian Ragweed

3.0 2
by Cross Canadian Ragweed
     
 

This quartet's name may seem a bit unwieldy (but not uninspired -- three of the four group members are Cody Canada, Grady Cross, and Randy Ragsdale), but the music here is lean and built for speed. Lead vocalist Canada has some grit and soul in his voice; he knows how to lean into a phrase to get the most out of it, and his original songs reveal both attitude and…  See more details below

Overview

This quartet's name may seem a bit unwieldy (but not uninspired -- three of the four group members are Cody Canada, Grady Cross, and Randy Ragsdale), but the music here is lean and built for speed. Lead vocalist Canada has some grit and soul in his voice; he knows how to lean into a phrase to get the most out of it, and his original songs reveal both attitude and sensitivity (the reflective "17," rife with bittersweet memories of escaping a stifling hometown existence, is especially effective). The band can roar with Skynyrd-like fury, as on the unforgiving rocker "Huntsville," or strip it down for a bit of affecting, guitar- and harmonica-fueled folk-rock introspection, as on "Brooklyn Kid," reminiscent of early Dylan or Steve Earle. There's a lot of mainstream polish here, but the mainstream could well stand a double-shot of music with the energy and vitality Cross Canadian Ragweed deliver on their impressive debut.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Some time ago, much of what used to be called folk-rock/singer/songwriter and light pop
ock music retreated to Nashville and Austin and started to be considered as vaguely country in style. If Cross Canadian Ragweed's major-label debut album is to be taken as an example, what used to be thought of as mainstream or classic rock is doing much the same thing. The Oklahoma-based rock quartet, who issued four low-budget albums independently, is here working for a new Nashville entity called Universal South, an imprint of the Universal Music Group run by Tony Brown, who brought such mavericks as Lyle Lovett and Steve Earle to Universal's MCA Records when he was there, and Tim DuBois, formerly of Arista Nashville and a proponent of Texas songwriters like Robert Earl Keen. In Cross Canadian Ragweed, they have found what is essentially a Southern rock bar band led by a good singer/songwriter/guitarist, Cody Canada, who probably has at least as many Bruce Springsteen records in his collection as those of the Marshall Tucker Band and Waylon Jennings. Road veterans, the musicians have a tight ensemble sound that showcases Canada's twangy lead guitar playing, his light baritone (which is often reminiscent of Earle's, though not quite as nasal and accented), and his thoughtful songwriting. Unsurprisingly, as a lyricist, Canada is concerned with that constant young man's struggle, breaking free of society's constraints, but he has a good eye for detail and an ear for a telling phrase: "You're always 17 in your hometown," if a bit overused in leadoff single "17," is an excellent way of putting the challenge of small-town living. Still, what impresses most is the overall sound of a band who has forged a distinctive style within a conventional genre through years of playing. This certainly doesn't sound like anybody's first album.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/10/2002
Label:
Universal South
UPC:
0044006441429
catalogNumber:
064414

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Cross Canadian Ragweed 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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