Cody Canada & The Departed – Why They Will Make It

After seeing another Departed show I walked out knowing that these guys are going to make an enormous impact on what we all know and love about music. But, even after all that, I walked out with a feeling that something wasn’t sitting right. I knew these guys were one of the best bands I’d ever seen and it’s taken me a few days to figure that what I was feeling. It turns out that it had nothing to do with the band, but rather everything to do with watching something new.


Change. It’s a bitch. And no one likes change that’s out of their control. We all say, at some time, that we “need a change of pace”, but what we really mean is that we only want the bad things to change into good things. Why change a good thing… you don’t fix what ain’t broken, right? And on the surface, no one thought of Ragweed as being bad or broken, so why go changing what wasn’t broken?

Well there’s the personal changes that were coming. And we can argue whether or not Ragweed’s latest albums were on par till we’re blue in the face, but the bottom line is that they are done and moving on. Would we have rather seen these guys just disappear? Let me answer that for you… Hell No! It’s in their blood and the only alternative is to start something new.

Change. It’s a bitch. And sometimes it’s the best thing you could have never hoped for.

Baby Steps

The first step I had to come to grips with was moving past that things were changing. The breakup with Ragweed sucked. Plain and Simple. I’d be a shitty music fan if I hold that against The Departed. But damn it’s hard when you go see The Departed and Cody Canada is playing on stage… it just brings back so many Ragweed memories.You’ve just got to do what I did and get past it.

Going in to see The Departed, you may not know the songs at first, but what you’ll find on stage is 5 of the best musicians in this scene. And that’s saying alot for a band that has only been together for a few months. The sound rolling off the stage is so good it will make other bands either try harder or just plain give up. Go in with an open mind, cut those strings that hold you to the past and you’ll begin to appreciate how great this band really is.

So Now What

Embrace it. There is not one bad thing I can say about The Departed. Bands like Foo Fighters were born from bands like Nirvana being forced to quit, so we know that this can work. The Departed is an amazing band with a ton of potential and even more experience… which is something many of us are ready for and in fact have begged for.

The question isn’t if they will make it or not. I have no doubt they are going to make it becuase they really are that good. The question should be “How soon will you realize that they are better than you hoped?”

Ryan "Tank" Hargrave

I'm a husband, father, traveler, a Light in the dark, lover of photography/film and I believe that good music can change your life.

88 thoughts on “Cody Canada & The Departed – Why They Will Make It

  • February 17, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    I realized it after they played two songs at the I was at.

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  • February 17, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    I couldn’t have put it any better. It was a struggle at first. To let loose of something you admired so much. Seth commented, “We aren’t asking you to forget the old band. Just make room for another.” Reminds me of when I was lamenting the loss of my dog I’d had for 16 years. I vowed never to get another. Then a friend straightened me out with these words, “Don’t look at it as REPLACING. Look at it as you had so much fun, let’s do it again.” I got another dog the next week. Bo the Beagle.

  • February 17, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    What a great example. Thanks for sharing that story about your dog… it really is alot like that.

  • February 17, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Great article and I couldn’t agree more! I’m a diehard a Ragweed Fan as it gets…it has taken me a while to come around to something new but I believe strongly The Departed will be big. After watching Cody and Seth play at Musicfest, you can see they are enjoying the change. I also got a chance to talk to Cody there. Great guy and down to earth as they get…will be pulling for these guys to make big!

  • February 17, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    I saw the Houston show and like the author….I totally agree, the breakup of Ragweed sucked big time, but it was happening and as much the fans wanted, it was beyond our control.

    Before I can go on, I have to give props to Randy Ragsdale in doing, what everyone agrees, was a selfless act of a family man, doing what his family needs at this time…Cheers and Bravo to you Randy…we are still fans, brother.

    Secondly, I had seen a preview of what to expect when Cody Canada and Seth James were doing their two man tour. I had caught the two of them on stage together twice and realized what a great couple of guys they are. When you talk to them, they are obviously very personable, but more importantly when I spoke with them, I came away with the impression of good old, hard-working boys who have a talent and have realized it. I saw a respect and appreciation for the music and what it had given them….Let’s face it, they love what they do and when they hit the stage, you get that….After seeing The Departed, I realized that it was a stage full of guys with the same appreciation and that is what makes fans fanatical about a band….when the guys in the band can transmit that energy….The Departed achieve that.

    People, I understand that these guys were all great musicians prior to forming this band…but… it is just plain and simple, if you missed The Departed live on this first tour, you have missed the birth and maturation of this band of Texas/Red Dirt musicians into a rock solid unit which is only going to get better……. In simple terms they…KICKED ROCK AND ROLL IN THE A$$…You won’t find two finer guitar players on the stage together than you get with Seth and Cody…Individually, they are good enough to play lead in any band..together, they bring out the best in one another and take each other to the next level……The southern sound is alive and kickin’ in Austin, Texas….y’all…get out and live by seeing these guys..

  • February 17, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Excellent summary so won’t add any more. But I will say that’s an excellent photo of The Departed on the top. Makes you feel like you’re there…

  • February 17, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Great article. I will always love me some Ragweed. I saw The Departed in Madison and loved the show. I was immediately obvious that all the guys were great musicians and, as always, wherever Cody Canada is you know there is going to be some damn good music.

  • February 17, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    I have been lucky enough to see The Departed twice already. Their first show at Gruene was epic. You could tell right off that these guys meant to play together. The energy and dedication to excellence that they bring to the stage is unmatched. The scary thing is that they are only going to get bigger. The real fun begins, when their self written works are brought to the public. When it is all said and done, The Departed will have created their own style of music that will be unmatched. Not Red Dirt, not Rock, not Country. Put simply, they will be known as a great band that transcended many styles of music to create their own. I’m just glad I have been lucky enough to be apart of it from the start.

  • February 17, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    i saw them play at billybobs. not the greatest venue i know. the people i was there with were bored. the show lacked the energy of previous shows from south texas i have been at. yes they are great musicians, but the ENERGY is not there. no one in the crowd was into the show. i am a DIEHARD ragweed fan. i can play most of their music. maybe it will get better but it just wasnt up to par with what i am used to from cody. you cant expect greatness from an act just getting rolling but the music is just different. the “vibe” was not there. i will give them another chance, but not impressed so far. and that sucks. i so want to be in love with the new sound but it just didnt do it for me. just a real mellow, sit in the corner and smoke out feel. no energy. maybe it was just billybobs. i would never leave a ragweed show, but we left to play pool at the departed. ughhh it pains me to say that. more up tempo stuff cody…..please. please dont come down to hard on me…..just my opinion and i know alot of you guys like the new stuff. its just not what i was hoping for. what ever happened to suicide blues and late last night type of stuff? rip ragweed.

  • February 17, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    What if they end up sounding so different that it sounds nothing like anything else in the Texas “genre”? Will they still be embraced by the community of galleywinter? If so, then why? It makes me wonder where the proverbial line in the sand is for the way songs sound in Texas music.

    I’m just bringing up questions..For the record, I think The Departed will be great. Good guys, good music.

  • February 17, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Seth, that’s a great question. It’s my personal feeling (and a couple other folks that run the site) that it’s getting really hard to define what exactly is “Texas Music”. With that, Americana & Red Dirt floating around it gets really confusing. Personally I’ve taken to calling it all Indie Country.

    With our new launch of v4 we’ve moved into “supporting music you love” rather than using the tag of Texas Music. Our aim is to mainly focus on bands that tour texas and call it home, but we don’t want to rathole anyone into a genre. The sound of Jason Eady vs. Jonathan Tyler is like night and day, but we support them together.. and it works becuase the fans love each in their own way.

  • February 17, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Chris, I know what you mean. I’d say stick with it… The hardest thing to remember is that they are a brand new band and trying out new things all the time. And as far as I know, they aren’t playing very many “originals”. I’d bet within the next year we’re going to see this sound change and they will get comfortable dropping the hammer a little bit.

  • February 17, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    I love that take on it. That is how I’ve always viewed it. I refer to Phil Pritchett, Old 97s, Kyle Park, and Bob Schneider all as Texas music even though they all sound extremely different.

    I love the fact that we Texans are making music just because we love to make music.

    The only label we need really is “Texas Music” and for that translation to be extremely literal. We are people who love Texas (whether born here or not) who are making music our own way. We support eachother and that is a source of strength that many communities can not claim.

    Texas always was an independant nation. Our music reflects that.

  • February 17, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    I agree with alot of what Seth and Tank are saying. The only problem I have with putting a label on anything is as soon as you do it defines it,whether it fits in that genre or not. When I first caught on to Ragweed they blew me away but I also thought to myself it’s a shame this band will never be as huge as they should because they don’t fit anywhere(on the radio). There are many around here that are in the same boat.

    As far as The Departed I’ve been avoiding listening to much of it yet because I want to here it at a show first. But what little I’ve heard sounds very good and I can only imagine it getting better.

  • February 17, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Cody and The Departed are awesome in their own right. They are great and will make it on their own. Not b/c of who they “were” or but b/c of who they “are”! Love ya, Mommarags

  • February 17, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Dude, I was also at the show at right in the very front touching the stage where Cody was standing. Too bad i didn’t know who you were, because I would really like to meet other Galleywinter people that I have been reading for years.

    The Departed are simply amazing. I left that show knowing that I had just witnessed the beginning stages of a great band. Ragweed is my favorite band of all time, and I was not there for the beginning of their career because I’m only 26 for one thing, and another thing is I didn’t live in TX or OK. Now it really feels special, because whenever The Departed are really blowing up, or maybe 4 or 5 albums from now, i can say that I was there at the beginning, and how cool is that?

    Seth James was amazing whenever he took lead vocals. The twin lead guitar attack also makes for some amazing music. I also hope that Jessica Murray does harmony vocals on the first album due out May 1st.

  • February 18, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Very well spoken. Thanks for your in-put. I’ve seen the band and I could not articulate it any better. Again thanks.

  • February 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    My husband and I went to see The Departed for the first time a few weeks ago. I went into the show telling myself that it was going to be different, it wasn’t going to be Ragweed…I was determined to keep a open mind about it! I also wanted to be there at the beginning of the band…by the time we got into Ragweed they had already been together for 10 years or more. Yes it was the beginning of something new for us, but it wasn’t the beginning of Ragweed. They had already developed that sound that only comes from a band working together for years.

    That is where I made my mistake. I walked into The Departed show thinking that sound was just going to be there. I mean how could it not…you have 5 of the top musicians in their field…how could it not blend together? I had no idea how raw and un-cut it was going to sound. That’s when I realized this is not only the beginning of something new for us, this is the beginning of The Departed. That’s when I was able to look at it in a totally different light and appreciate what I was seeing and hearing.

    We all say we love every Ragweed cd cause we have all been to the shows and we know what Ragweed became but go pull out that first Ragweed cd and give it a listen …. yeah I love it cause…well it was Ragweed, but is it the best example of what Ragweed became?

    The band will change and the sound will develop we just have to have a little patience.

  • February 18, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Great string. Another diehard CCR fan here. I thought Cody summed it up well when we saw The Departed in Lawrence a couple of weeks ago when he thanked all of us for coming out with blind faith. I would have loved to have been around when CCR started and hope and pray that the guys will continue telling the stories that we all love to sing backed up by an edge that is hard to describe but awesome to listen to. See you at the next Departed show!

  • February 19, 2011 at 8:27 am

    As much as we’ll miss CCR I am so excited for The Departed. Like Missouri Mike said it was so strange going to see them in Lawrence not knowing any of their songs or what to expect. MOST OF ALL THEY DID NOT DISAPPOINT! I know their first record is going to be all covers (I think) so I will be really excited for their 2nd record. Can not wait to see what is to come!

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  • February 23, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    “Individually, they are good enough to play lead in any band..”
    well said bro, i couldn’t agree more
    and to think a third singer as a bonus

  • February 23, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    And the Gods blessed us the day this was all decided.

  • June 28, 2011 at 3:01 am

    I haven’t reviewed all the comments. But felt inclined to offer my opinion. If you like the music and want to hear it, then is some capacity you need to support it. Attendance, merchandise, etc.

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