Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ragweed Part 2

With the 2005 release of their Garage album on Universal South Records, Cross Canadian Ragweed muddied the waters even more with their sound. This album had a decidedly more rock edge, as compared to the Soul Gravy album from the previous year. Mainstream radio, especially country, has a need to have everything in a neat little package, perfectly categorized and labelled so they can play what the consultants tell them people want to hear. The release of Garage I'm sure caused a few consultants and programmers to train wreck in their meetings. How can they play this band that's on a country record label on a country station, when they don't really sound "country"? Needless to say, they didn't play them much. I will point out though, that even though this album is decidedly more rock oriented, country radio did find a way to make the lead single "Fightin' For" the first top 40 hit for Cross Canadian Ragweed, peaking at number 39. A video was produced for the song as well, directed by the award winning Trey Fanjoy, the director for the majority of Keith Urban's videos. By cracking the top 40 with this song, Cross Canadian Ragweed finally got their introduction to the masses and they haven't looked back since.

As I mentioned above, it is difficult to categorize the music of Cross Canadian Ragweed. While "Fightin' For" was a top 40 hit for the boys, so far it is their only top 40 hit. The categorizing of Ragweed is something the band themselves have recognized, as indicated in one of their more famous quotes "Too rock for country, and too country for rock." Whatever their appeal, these guys are just a damn good band. The Garage album showcases the rock side of Ragweed, but they still show their softer side as well with such tracks as "Sister" and "This Time Around." One of the highlights of the album though, is a fantastic rocked-out cover of "Who Do You Love" by George Thorogood and The Destroyers.

We're now two weeks away from the big night in Chicago at Joe's Bar where Cross Canadian Ragweed will play their final show for the foreseeable future. I have made my plans to be in attendance for the big night. I'm looking forward to it greatly. This will be my first and possibly last Ragweed show, all on the same night. I'm expecting that it's going to be one helluva blowout. I always find club shows to be among the best. The venue is smaller, the band is up close, the crowd gets right into the show faster. This will also be the first time I've ever visited Chicago, so if you have any recommendations on where to go and where to eat, I'm all ears. I'll be blogging about the trip too, so you'll see a few more entries that weekend. I've heard great things about Chicago, can't wait to come out your way!

It's Thanksgiving weekend in Canada this weekend. To all of you, regardless of where you're reading this, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families. All the best everyone, thanks for reading.

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