I came up in the Red Dirt music scene listening to Cross Canadian Ragweed, Jason Boland, Robert Earl Keen and the rest of the classics. So it was heartbreaking for me when Cross Canadian Ragweed announced their breakup. I complete understood the reasons behind it and have a lot of respect for a man walking away from his dream to raise his special needs child. I appreciate the fact that the band agreed, way back in the olden days, that they would never be any less than the members that founded it. All of that didn’t make it any less of a tragedy to see the boys from Oklahoma take their leave. The blow was softened by Cody Canada’s announcement of a new project. Over the last few months I became very excited about the impending release of This Is Indian Land. The story behind the album is that Cody made a promise, at the height of Ragweed’s career, to do an album of covers of Red Dirt music that influenced him so much. He has fulfilled that promise and so in a pretty decent manner.

You may noticed that there was some hesitation in the above paragraph, if you didn’t there was, and that’s because I am disappointed in this album. Let me make this perfectly clear I am not disappointed because its not a Ragweed album. I had not illusions that The Departed would be Ragweed reborn and wouldn’t have wanted it to. I am disappointed because this album borders on greatness but never quite gets there. I know that I will catch nine kinds of hell saying that because Red Dirt fans can be vicious but its my honest opinion. This is a good album. It is an album you should own. It as an album that you should listen to more than a few times. But it is only a good album. Every time it feels like it’s about cross over in to amazingness it falls just short. I waited over a month from getting my hands on this album in the hope that it would grow on me and it never did. I never did find the magic that I wanted to find. Maybe it is my own fault for building it up in my mind before ever hearing it. I can’t honestly put my finger on the reason. Now don’t go getting me wrong. I am by no means panning This Is Indian Land as there are some really good tracks on here. The folks behind it are amazingly talented and you can tell that the first time you cue this one up. I just can’t, personally, seem to find the magic in this one that would make me weak in the knees when it gets played.

Cody Canada & The Departed – Ballad Of Rosalie
Cody Canada & The Departed – Kickin’ Back In Amsterdam
Cody Canada & The Departed – Hold On Christian

Cody Canada & The Departed’s Official Site, Cody Canada & The Departed on Facebook, Buy This Is Indian Land


  1. I happened to hear “Rosalie” on the XM today at work, having never heard of Cody Canada, and I was like meh. I changed the channel to find the Talking Heads “Wild Wild Life.” Funny, though, that this review was waiting when I got home.

  2. Oh man….Cross Canadian Ragweed is my all time favorite band. I loved that band just like you guys love Lucero or Three Cow Garage. “Garage” is one of my all time favorite albums, and I think that album show-cased Ragweed at their peak, and was quite possibly their best album…although I love all of their albums for what they are.

    With that being said….I had very high hopes for this album. I literally had the release date marked on my calendar, and pre-ordered the album off of so I could get the autographed album cover. Since I have been listening to it for the past couple of months, I must agree that it is not great. It is however, very good. Now, considering this is the band’s first album, and was put out within six or seven months of them actually forming I must say that it is one hell of an accomplishment. This is a brand new band, and let’s not forget that.

    To be fair to The Departed, this is also a “covers” album, and there is absolutely zero original material. It also does not come close to capturing their abilities as a live act. I caught them live at Austin City Limits, with the amazing Jason Eady opening for them, and man did they rock! With Seth James’ and Cody Canada both taking turns and sometimes attacking at the same time on lead guitar, it brought a whole new aspect that Ragweed lacked. Also, Steve Littleton on keys really added a lot of depth to the overall performance.

    I honestly believe that this will be a great band, and if they last long enough maybe even greater that Ragweed was. I am ready for some original material, and I expect nothing less than great for the second album.

  3. After listening to these songs a few times, especially “Hold On Christian”, I went bought the entire album. Some close to great, some good, others so so. I would be interested in hearing some originals at some point if the band stays together.

  4. I think you were very generous with your review. I can’t help to wonder how Cody could change gears so fast. I love CCR but I knew CCR was Cody Canada and was expecting something along those lines but better. The over all sound of this CD is great and there are some great musicians on it but it’s over produced country fluff and ‘m really disappointed for one. Whoever produced this or recommend the abrupt change to radio friendly Country music needs punched in the face.

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