CCR – Rockin’ Real Country

Original Link – UWeekly

Some bands get pinned to a genre that doesn’t adequately describe their actual sound. Oklahoma’s own Cross Canadian Ragweed is one such band. Despite having obvious Southern rock influences, the new CCR (as opposed to Creedence) has been fighting an uphill battle to shake the proverbial “country” cowboy hat that’s been placed upon them. This isn’t because the bandmates dislike country, but rather because they love real country. We’re talking Haggard, Jennings, and Cash… real country. CCR has an aversion to being grouped into the same category as pop country acts like Rascal Flatts and Big and Rich. This is understandable to anyone who has ears and can appreciate the rich history of this musical genre.

Then again, CCR has just as much influence from the outlaw country heroes as they do to Lynyrd Skynyrd or Molly Hatchet. Rock ‘n roll permeates the music of CCR just as much as their country twang. This is probably why the band has yet to reach the commercial success that their songwriting and determination deserve. They’re too country for some rock fans and too rock for most “country” fans. CCR are true originals. Frontman and songwriter Cody Canada answered a few questions about their current tour and latest release, “Mission California.”

UW: What separates “Mission California” from your other records?

Well, one thing is time. We never had time to do it before. We’d usually just get off the road for a couple of days, record, and hit the road again. But with this one we said, “We’re going to take time to do it, we’re gonna live with it, we’re gonna live at the studio; if at all possible we’re going to go somewhere where we don’t know anybody,” and that’s exactly what we did, and we’ll never do different. *laughs*

UW: I’ve got to ask this as a metal fan…how did you come to write a tribute song for the late Dimebag Darrell?

We knew of each other. Of course we knew of Dimebag and Vinnie (Paul, his brother), but they knew of us, which was cool. They always called us when we were in Dallas to get us to hang out at their strip club…VIP stripper room…which is real hard to turn down. *laughs* But man, we never got the chance to do it. The next thing you know, he’s dead. After that happened and after the Dimebag song was on rock radio down there in Dallas, we played a pretty good-sized gig, and Vinnie wanted to play drums on that song. So he did, and after we got off stage I had him sign a Dimebag guitar I bought and stuck it on my wall.

UW: Well, as somebody who was there when it happened, that song really hits home.

Well, thank you for that. You were there? Holy s***! Look, I don’t know how morbid this is or what…but I actually have the pick that he was playing with when he fell. His guitar tech John Graham he gave it to me one night and said, “Man, I don’t know how you’ll feel about this…” I said, “Well, I’m honored, and it’s kinda weird.” But I’ll cherish it forever, and it’s always in my back pocket.

UW: Your musical influences seem pretty diverse.

*laughs* Yeah, they are. You know I grew up listening to a lot of Merle Haggard…the country music that I call country music. That s*** today…I don’t even know what that is. To me, country music died in like ’94. The other half of the house was my sister who was rocking out to The Who, Skynyrd, and Marshall Tucker…and Molly Hatchet. She was the one that really put the music bug in my head. I remember the first time I heard Ted Nugent and Eddie Van Halen and just thinking, “Well, this is what I have to do, because this is the coolest thing ever. I gotta play guitar.” That’s the kinda thing that made me do what I do…listening to Haggard sing something sad and listening to Eddie just rip a guitar’s guts out.

UW: So you’re not a big “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” fan? *laughs*

*laughs* I am probably the biggest enemy of that song. You know, there was one night in Nashville, and there was this guy, and he bought everybody a round. He held up his glass and said, “Here’s to ‘Honky Tonk Badonkadonk’!” And I said, “Why in the f*** are you toasting that s*** song? That is the worst song ever.” He laughed and said, “I wrote it.” *laughs* Yeah…I didn’t apologize.

UW: You guys just celebrated 14 years together as a band…do you see yourself doing this forever?

Oh yeah, yes. Yeah, we talk about that all the time. You know, there’s really no other option. We love doing what we do and have fun doing what we do, and we get to feed our kids doing what we do. So I don’t see why we would ever want to stop doing it.

Cross Canadian Ragweed will be performing with Blackberry Smoke at the Newport Music Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 15. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. For more information, please visit or

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