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Cross Canadian Ragweed - Back to Tulsa

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Cross Canadian Ragweed - Back to Tulsa

Cross Canadian Ragweed - Back to Tulsa

Universal South
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When Cross Canadian Ragweed hit the stage, they proclaim themselves "live and loud." Never were truer words spoken. After more than half a decade of playing and singing (although some might have you think the band only appeared with their first major release, Purple, in 2002), the boys are coming home to Oklahoma (they actually come from Yukon, but Oklahoma boys stick together) to play before a loving and appreciative crowd in Back to Tulsa, a tremendous two-disc full concert that, while made for CCR's fans, should appeal to everyone who loves it loud.

I've been a fan of the band from Yukon since the release of their first independent disc, Highway 377, all the way back in 2000 (amazing how time flies). I got to see them perform "live and loud" in September of 2002, when they opened for Dwight Yoakam. Got a chance to talk for a while with lead singer Cody Canada, who's as nice a guy as he is a great singer. Now some of that excitement is captured on an awesome two-disc set as Canada and his gang (Cross Canadian Ragweed is Cody Canada, Grady Cross, Jeremy Plato, and Randy Ragsdale) take the stage at Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa to perform songs that were selected by their fans - they asked what the fans wanted and boy, was there a response! Everything I've heard from these guys in the last two years had convinced me these guys not have the potential to be, but already are, one of the best groups currently playing in American music. Their raw talent is absolutely unquestionable; their music is sharp, intelligent, infectious, powerful; they play together with the strong consistency of a group who know each other well and know how to make the most of their mutual skills. Most of all, they have fun together. It's always clear when you're listening to a band that enjoys working together, and that much is obvious. The liner notes say this isn't a "greatest hits" album (largely because, as Canada says, they don't have any "hits" - more's the pity), but a collection of fan favorites performed live, with a few songs left out because they've already been released on one of the band's other live albums.
They open with "Dimebag," from last year's Garage, an album I considered their first really "grown up" disc - when I first heard it I knew my favorite Oklahoma "garage band" was anything but anymore. These guys are the Rolling Stones of their generation, and I really do mean that - these boys should be burning up the charts, country and rock (they admit they lean more to rock than many of their Oklahoma contemporaries). Their songs have the obvious potential to be the anthems of their generation as surely as my own generation grew up with Skynard - songs like "Number" and "Cold Hearted Woman" have all the staying power and audience-inciting oomph of "Freebird." In other words, these guys ought to be filling stadiums. Big ones. Canada's appealing, raw vocals never stray from the rootsy rock sound he puts out, and he plays guitar with his own powerhouse style, his many influences - from Stevie Ray Vaughn to Pete Anderson - apparent but he's never derivative. Cross adds a steady rhythm guitar, Plato hits the bass and harmony/background vocals, while Ragsdale is a roots-rock drummer every bit as good as guys like Keith Moon and John Bonham (he takes a hand at lead vocal and guitar on "Daddy's At Home"). I don't think it would be hard for these boys to market themselves as pure rockers who do a little country-flavored music, like the Stones do, just to get them the audience they so richly deserve. Of course, I can selfishly say I like the fact they still play the little houses, ‘cause that means I get a chance to see them.
They open with "Dimebag," from last year's Garage, an album I considered their first really "grown up" disc - when I first heard it I knew my favorite Oklahoma "garage band" was anything but anymore. These guys are the Rolling Stones of their generation, and I really do mean that - these boys should be burning up the charts, country and rock (they admit they lean more to rock than many of their Oklahoma contemporaries). Their songs have the obvious potential to be the anthems of their generation as surely as my own generation grew up with Skynard - songs like "Number" and "Cold Hearted Woman" have all the staying power and audience-inciting oomph of "Freebird." In other words, these guys ought to be filling stadiums. Big ones. Canada's appealing, raw vocals never stray from the rootsy rock sound he puts out, and he plays guitar with his own powerhouse style, his many influences - from Stevie Ray Vaughn to Pete Anderson - apparent but he's never derivative. Cross adds a steady rhythm guitar, Plato hits the bass and harmony/background vocals, while Ragsdale is a roots-rock drummer every bit as good as guys like Keith Moon and John Bonham (he takes a hand at lead vocal and guitar on "Daddy's At Home"). I don't think it would be hard for these boys to market themselves as pure rockers who do a little country-flavored music, like the Stones do, just to get them the audience they so richly deserve. Of course, I can selfishly say I like the fact they still play the little houses, ‘cause that means I get a chance to see them.

Song List:

  1. Dimebag
  2. Number
  3. Lonely Girl
  4. Late Last Night
  5. Final Curtain
  6. Sister
  7. Constantly
  8. Don't Need You
  9. Fightin' For
  10. When It All Goes Down - duet with Wade Bowen
  11. Anywhere But Here
  12. Daddy's At Home
  13. The Needle and the Damage Done
  14. When Will It End - duet with Stoney LaRue
  15. Back Around
  16. Brooklyn Kid
  17. Cold Hearted Woman
  18. Jimmy and Annie
  19. Wanna Rock & Roll
  20. 17
  21. Hammer Down
  22. Alabama
  23. Blues for You
  24. Lonely Feeling
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