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Cross Canadian Ragweed Blends Country and Rock on  <i>Soul Gravy</i> - 2004-04-22


Cross Canadian Ragweed formed in 1994, and spent the next eight years building a regional fan base in the southwestern U.S. The Oklahoma-based band released four albums on its own label, and performed hundreds of concerts before signing a major label record deal in 2002. Cross Canadian Ragweed has a new CD, Soul Gravy.

Southern rock was popular in the 1970s, thanks to groups like Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers Band, and The Outlaws. Now, 30 years later, Cross Canadian Ragweed is achieving success with its unique blend of Country and rock.

Cross Canadian Ragweed group members Grady Cross, Cody Canada, Randy Ragsdale and Jeremy Plato have played music together for most of their lives. Soon after graduating from high school, they moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma, where they performed covers of Country and classic rock songs. Lead singer Cody Canada also began writing songs. His original material filled the band's first four independent albums.

In 2002, Universal South Records offered Cross Canadian Ragweed a recording contract. That same year, the group released a self-titled CD, and made its first appearance on the Country Singles chart with the song, "17."

The band's second major label album, Soul Gravy, recently debuted at Number 5 on Billboard's Country Albums chart.

One of Cross Canadian Ragweed's biggest fans is Country star Lee Ann Womack, who joins the band on its current chart hit, "Sick and Tired."

Cody Canada wrote all but two of Soul Gravy's 14 songs. The exceptions are Ray Wylie Hubbard's "Wanna Rock And Roll" and the hidden bonus track, a cover of Ted Nugent's hard-rock classic, "Stranglehold."

The band's drummer, Randy Ragsdale, admits more rock influences appear on each new album. He says, "We feel like we can throw it out there a little bit more. This time we felt a little more confident in trying it."

Executives at Universal Records asked the band to send them an unmixed version of Soul Gravy. Instead, Cross Canadian Ragweed produced the CD with Mike McClure.

Cross Canadian Ragweed recently opened a U.S. tour in support of Soul Gravy. And, speaking of live performances, the band's new CD includes a 16-track limited edition DVD, filmed at a 2003 concert in Texas.

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