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Fair brings in familiar face with new tunes




Music has a special place in Cody Canada's heart.

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Music has a special place in Cody Canada's heart.

"It is your life and your music," he said of his journey from a founding member of Cross Canadian Ragweed to his latest band the Departed. "And if you want to go a different direction, it's totally up to you."

Cody Canada and the Departed will play at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Ellis County Fair at RPM Speedway in a gig that's sandwiched between performances at the Shed, Maryville, Ky., and the Wormy Dog Saloon, Oklahoma City.

The band, with Red Dirt roots, is nearly always on tour and is in the process of writing for its next record.

"We're not really getting in a hurry. We don't feel like we need to be," Canada said. "I was rushed for so many years with Ragweed.

"I'm purposely taking my time. I don't like to be rushed or told what to do. That's the reason I got into music."

The Departed released "Adventus" (Underground Sound) in 2012. With 14 original tracks, the album brings together the talents of Canada and longtime Ragweed band member Jeremy Plato on bass and vocals; along with Seth James on guitar and vocals; Steve Littleton on B3 organ and keys; and Chris Doege on drums.

His three years with the Departed have moved him forward to new musical experiences, as Canada's writing style evolves and matures.

"We wanted to do new things, but a lot of people wanted to hear the old stuff," he said. "But with this band, that's all you get the chance to hear is new music.

"We'll play a few Ragweed's now and then, but it's brand new again. Everybody writes. Everybody has fun."

Canada said he is looking forward to his first live acoustic project at Port Aransas, Texas, at the end of July.

"I'm gonna do old songs and new songs and maybe a cover or two," he said.

"I haven't played acoustic by myself for at least 10 years. It's challenging and lonely at times. ... But with a 150 capacity in the room, that's a lot of friends."

Canada is no stranger to Hays, having played the Ellis County Fair and the Singers venue on several occasions.