The single “Sick and Tired”, featuring the aforementioned Lee Ann Womack on harmony vocals, was the first single to chart reasonably well for Cross Canadian Ragweed. Surprisingly though, it didn’t become a top 40 hit, peaking at #46. The next single, "Alabama", would meet the same fate. To me, this didn't make sense. The songs were strong, perhaps in more ways than one. The writing was fantastic, the guitars stellar, but perhaps the subject matter was a little too much for the consultants at country radio. They appear to shy away from touchy subject material like prostitution and substance abuse, which is the subject matter of "Sick and Tired." Still though, the album was their best selling album to date, debuting at #4 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart.
If I've ever had a beef with country radio, this was a perfect example. A great song performed by excellent artists. An album that's a best seller, which means the people are buying the records, which in turn means they want to hear the music. Country radio doesn't play the said artists music because apparently some consultant said the material is a touch subject and people don't want to hear it. Yet the people are buying the records by the boatload. It made no sense to me then, it makes no sense to me now. Cross Canadian Ragweed isn't the first group to be caught up in this mix and they won't be the last, but that's a column for another day.
The "Soul Gravy" album is a great introduction to this group. When I talk about touchy subject matter, "Sick and Tired" isn't the only track that moves over some shady ground. "Cold Hearted Woman" is a heavy, rockin' song that involves sex, lies and homicide ... all three long-standing topics in the country music/alt-country/Americana genres. True love and dedication appear on this album with the aforementioned "Alabama", and for fans of the Red Dirt/Texas music scene, the guys perform a tune written by the great Ray Wylie Hubbard.
The album is available at your local record store, or pick it up on www.amazon.com or from the bands' web site. We'll move on to the next album and a little further up the timeline next week as we move through our Ragweed Thursday series. Stay tuned!