Cody Canada and the Red Dirt country music scene go hand in hand, whether it be over the past thirteen years as the front man of Cody Canada & The Departed or from his time with Cross Canadian Ragweed from 1994-2010. Last year, fans were gifted with the perfect combination of both sides of his storied career when Cody Canada & The Departed reimagined Ragweed’s sophomore album Soul Gravy, giving the songs the flavor that was envisioned for them the first go round. We checked in with Cody to talk all about the album, the differences you’ll hear in the songs, which song is his personal favorite on the album, what’s next for The Departed, and much more! 

(Interview by: Jeffrey Kurtis

1) Let’s first talk about the new version you recorded last July of the second Cross Canadian Ragweed album Soul Gravy.  What were the major deciding factors that made you want to redo this album now and give it a fresh, new feel?

Getting the right tones, getting back a recording of those songs, and also involving my kids and friends.

2) This album is certainly one of Ragweed’s milestone moments that really helped propel your career to its next level of success. What about the original release of the album do you feel made it resonate so much with your fans at that time, and in what ways do you feel this new version will impressively connect with them, perhaps even more so?

I guess it was just the right record at the right time. I think they will hear the beefing up we did.

3) One very cool thing about the new version of the album is that it got a vinyl release for the first time. In what ways do you feel that the vinyl version really captures the essence of the songs and the overall vibe you were going in ways that streaming or any other platform could?

Vinyl is the only hard copy that makes sense financially

4) Your most current single from the album is the new version of “Again,” this time featuring vocals from your co-writer on the song, Randy Rogers. What dynamic does Randy bring to this version of the song that you feel was missing on it the first go round?

I think it’s a really good alternative version with the writers both singing

5) Randy isn’t the only guest on the album. Lee Ann Womack returns to her role on “Sick and Tired,” as well as featured appearances from the likes of Ray Wylie Hubbard and Elle Gorman. Tell us a little bit about each of their parts in making the album hit the right chords. What did they bring to it that wasn’t otherwise there without them?

Ray is just cooler than hell and he needs to be heard on his song. There was no replacing “The Queen LeaAnn.” Elle saved my ass and sang a song I couldn’t bring justice to any longer.

6) Though all the songs on the album received a facelift, is there one that’s always rubbed you the wrong way on the original recording that you absolutely knew you had to redo one way or the other?

“Hammer Down” was always a thorn. The editing was choppy

7) Looking over the album as it’s done now, if twisting your arm, which one song from it stands out as your personal favorite and why?

“Flowers” because it’s a tribute to my father in law, and my Boys are playing drums and guitar.

8) With you having now fully embraced the past to redo this Ragweed album, talk a little bit about the heartbreak you experienced when the band broke up and how you worked to overcome it to get to the point where you’re not only playing the songs again, but now having a full album of them out there. 

I’ve been playing them for 9 years. I took off a couple of years and it wasn’t a good move. The band doesn’t define who I am….the songs do. I was very heartbroken over the breakup, but looking back, it was time. My current band is 2/3 Ragweed. I play rhythm and lead. With Jeremy Plato on bass and Eric “Waldo” Hansen on drums…our sound is as tight and full as Ragweed ever was as a 4 piece.

9) With that album now having been out for nearly a year, what’s next for Cody Canada & The Departed? Is new music in the works, and if so, when can fans expect to start hearing some of it?

We’re recording new music and a cover album.  Fans will hear something soon.



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