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Album Review

Cross Canadian Ragweed doesn't need to take a lot of risks on Soul Gravy, keeping their stellar rep as a crack touring/bar band in mind and sticking close to their Southern rock and Texas singer/songwriter influences. Mike McClure is a sure hand behind the board — Cody Canada's engaging regular guy delivery is never lacquered in studio syrup, and his electric guitar leads always crackle with life. The understated sonics of "Lonely Girl" are of a piece with "Sick and Tired," which features Lee Ann Womack on harmony vocals; both songs just seem like a loud band turning down its amps and switching over to the clean channel for a minute. Naturally, "Hammer Down" is that loud band, driven forward by a care-to-the-wind story line and some ripping guitar work, as is the bottle-smashing racket of "Wanna Rock & Roll," which CCR (?) wants you to know was written by Ray Wylie Hubbard. The little acoustic gem "Flowers" serves as a sort of set break, but it also features one of Canada's best couplets in the line "You bring me up/I bring you down/I bring you flowers/It brings you around." Other standouts include the dobro-flecked honky tonk of "Down," as well as a new, more powerfully recorded version of "Alabama," which unapologetically crosses Southern rock sensibilities with crunchy arena rock chording. Soul Gravy isn't much for pacing, but the songwriting and playing is uniformly solid, whether the boys are pulling at your heart strings ("Pay") or riffing on Texas' musical traditions ("Cold Hearted Woman"; the blues-tinged "Too Far Gone"). Overall it's a fun ride, both for longtime fans and the new ones Universal South's promotional push should make them. [The 2004 edition included one bonus cut.]

Customer Reviews

The new CCR

I have never been a huge fan of Country music, but Cross Canadian Ragweed has me thinking I may have been wrong. When I first heard these guys I didn't pay much attention, but after a few listens, I had to have this CD. CCR is as original as they come, without really doing anything out of the ordinary. This is just good ole down and dirty rock/blues/country music that you just can't get enough of. Nobody does it better! I can't wait to get the new CD.

Gravy For The Soul!

With songs, like Lonely Girl, Sick and Tired, and a revamped Alabama, this album is the very best CCR has ever produced. The music, together with great lyrics, never get old. Even those who don't like country can appreciate Cross Canadian Ragweed's unique style and sound. If you're not a fan yet, this CD will make you one!

This one is easy!

If you read my other reviews you know I'm pretty much a Hater, but CCR is one of the best bands out there, If they record it I will buy it, LLRNR!

Biography

Formed: 1994 in Stillwater, OK

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Cross Canadian Ragweed established themselves as a relentless touring band throughout the Texas/Oklahoma area and then broadened their reach, nationally releasing several albums of rabble-rousing alt-country. Formed in 1994 in Stillwater, OK, the band took its name from those of its members: frontman and lead guitarist Cody Canada, drummer Randy Ragsdale, rhythm guitarist Grady Cross, and bassist Jeremy Plato. Though the band toured heavily from its inception, establishing a particularly strong fan...
Full Bio
Soul Gravy, Cross Canadian Ragweed
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