The latest incarnation of Cody Canada and the Departed isn’t a reinvention of the group’s sound – it’s a reunion.
Canada, along with bassist Jeremy Plato, are reopening the doors to a sonic garage that was locked up for years with their new album ‘HippieLovePunk.’
In the wake of the dissolution of Canada’s former band Cross Canadian Ragweed in 2010, many expected Canada to adhere to the heart-sleeved, Okie-rocker recipe that propelled him into the realm of a true rock-star and sold over a million records for Ragweed. But Canada chose to take the red dirt road less traveled by partnering up with Seth James, a long-time friend and musician widely admired for his soulful voice and skillful guitar playing for some much-needed creative diversion while the dust settled in the aftermath of Ragweed’s breakup.
For three years, Canada became a side-man for portions of each concert, splitting the leads with James and eschewing the demands for “more Ragweed!” as the Departed steadily built a reputation as a musical force of their own.
Since James’ amicable exit from the band last year, Canada has returned to vintage form, seizing the opportunity to take the lead of the now four-piece band with a newly energized inspiration to get back to his roots. The time he spent pursuing new creative paths with the Departed was a blessing, allowing him time to develop a rejuvenated appreciation for Ragweed’s legendary body of work and the connections it made with fans.
Recorded at the historic Arlyn Studios in Austin, TX, ‘HippieLovePunk’ finds Canada returning to his roots stylistically. The fan response has been nothing less than exuberant as Canada has debuted new material live and re-integrated Ragweed classics into the Departed’s set list.
While many of Canada’s best songs stand up as proper party anthems, fans would be missing out by only knocking back shots during his performances and not letting the lyrics sink in from time to time. In November of 2013, Canada released his solo debut; a live acoustic album called ‘Some Old, Some New, Maybe A Cover Or Two,’ which features songs from throughout his storied career.The powerful evocations and visceral connections Canada forms with his songwriting rightfully place him in a prominent class of modern songwriters occupied by the likes of Robert Earl Keen, Bruce and Charlie Robison, Todd Snider and the men of Reckless Kelly, among only a strict few others.
Recently, Canada was reminded by a long-time supporter that it’s the songs that live forever, not the artists who wrote them. Thankfully for fans, Canada is more determined than ever to embrace the best parts of his past while continuing to push forward, writing new, inspired music that will define the next chapter of his extraordinary career.