Cody Canada - This Is Indian Land (Music CD)

Release Date: 18 July 2011
Artist: Cody Canada
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Since Oklahoma's Cody Canada spent 15 years as the lead singer, principal songwriter, and guitarist with the Southern rock quartet Cross Canadian Ragweed, it might be expected that his first album under his own name following the group's 2010 breakup would sound like his old band, especially given that he retained bassist Jeremy Plato in his newly formed backup group, the Departed. (Other members are Dave Bowen on drums; Seth James on guitar; and Steve Littleton on keyboards.) But Canada has sidestepped expectations and at the same time gone for an ambitious alternative on his debut, This Is Indian Land. The title sounds like it might presage to turn toward Native American protest music, but it really is a reference to Canada's native state, once known as Indian Territory, and this is a concept album in which, instead of writing his own songs, he covers songs he likes written by other Oklahoma songwriters. The songs aren't necessarily about Oklahoma, though some are, such as Leon Russell's "Home Sweet Oklahoma" and J.J. Cale's "If You're Ever in Oklahoma." Rather, the idea is to display the wealth and range of songwriting talent from the state, whether the songwriters are writing about their favorite guitars (Randy Pease's "Ballad of Rosalie") or about a visit to Europe (Kevin Welch's "Kickin' Back in Amsterdam"). The range of styles is especially important to Canada, who here includes some of the Southern rock Cross Canadian Ragweed was known for (such as the Allmans-like "Any Other Way" and the extended jam of "Hold on Christian"), but also wants to play straight country ("Make Yourself Home"), country-folk ("A Little Rain Will Do"), and, in Cale's song, some of the swampy shuffle music that Oklahoma recluse is known for. Maybe Canada's erstwhile compatriots in his old band weren't interested in being this eclectic or in indulging in a side project that even includes telephone messages of encouragement from some of the songwriters. Canada may come back with a solo project in the manner of his old band later, but this change of pace is a good way to launch himself on his own. ~ William Ruhlmann
Release Date: 18 July 2011
Artist: Cody Canada

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Catalogue No: BLUDP0548