Cross Canadian Ragweed released a stack of smoking-hot albums during their 16 years together. Soul Gravy remains a favorite among the band’s fans. However, former Ragweed frontman Cody Canada had mixed feelings about it. On one hand, the songs on Soul Gravy were some of his favorites. On the other hand, the recording was rushed and they didn’t capture the sound that he wanted. That’s why Canada and his current band, The Departed, went into the studio to rerecord the 2004 fan favorite.
Today, the rebooted version of Soul Gravy hit streaming services everywhere. Additionally, fans will be able to get in on vinyl for the first time. Recently, Outsider sat down with Cody Canada to discuss the revamped cut of the album.
Cody Canada on Taking Soul Gravy Back to the Studio
Cody Canada said that he was nervous before starting the recording sessions for Soul Gravy earlier this year. However, once he got into the studio, things fell into place. “It’s such a cheesy thing to say, but it was like riding a bike. It was so easy to go back and revisit those songs.”
One thing that made it so easy for Cody Canada & The Departed to take the songs from Soul Gravy back to the studio is that they’re still playing some of them live. However, recording those songs brought back some memories. “It brought back why the songs were written and the people they were written about,” Canada said. Additionally, it brought back all of the things he was going through during the original sessions back in 2004. “It was really good and very nostalgic,” he added.
Soul Gravy Re-Issue Will Sound More Natural
Cody Canada said that one of the things he didn’t like about Soul Gravy was that they recorded it with digital amp modelers. In 2004, Cross Canadian Ragweed was pressed for time. They had a busy tour schedule and needed to get the album out. Canada wanted to record the album with tube amps to capture the band’s natural tone. However, he decided he needed to pick his battles and didn’t fight too hard.
This time around, they’re doing things right. Canada said that his sound engineer, Brian Kinsey strategically placed the microphones to get the sound just right. “He captured the natural reverb of the room. He really attacked it kind of like Led Zeppelin used to do – using the room to its full potential.”
In the end, the tone of the new version of Soul Gravy is fatter and more natural-sounding than the original.
Cody Canada & The Departed Brought an Impressive Guest List
Soul Gravy originally featured a guest appearance by Lee Ann Womack on the song “Sick and Tired” and she’s coming back for the rerecording. That’s not the only guest Cody Canada & The Departed brought to the recording sessions, though. Ray Wylie Hubbard and Randy Rogers who are both longtime friends of Canada’s will be on the album. However, the guest he seems most excited about is an incredible 16-year-old singer-songwriter named Elle Gorman.
Gorman, who released her debut EP I’ll Be Fine in 2020, met Canada through School of Rock New Braunfels a few years ago. Cody Canada explained that he and his wife started the School of Rock four years ago. In the school’s second year, they held a week-long summer camp for songwriters. That’s where he met Gorman. During that week, she wrote a song that Canada said “blew his doors off.”
At the time, she was only 13 but wrote like a much older person. After that, Canada took Gorman and her sister under his wing. He said they’ve “become like the daughters I didn’t have.”
Elle Gorman Steps Up
When it came time to record Soul Gravy, Cody Canada said he wanted to include the Ted Nugent song “Stranglehold” but found that he couldn’t sing it. He said he sent the song to Gorman and she told him “I’ve never heard the song, but I’ll be there in ten minutes.” It only took them 30 minutes to get the song in the can.
Remember the name Elle Gorman. Cody Canada plans to get in the studio with her to work on her next album later this year. In the meantime, you can hear her belting “Stranglehold” at the end of Soul Gravy.
Cody Canada & The Departed Aren’t Releasing an Album Anytime Soon
We won’t be getting any albums of new material from Cody Canada & The Departed any time soon. Instead, Canada said, they’ll be putting out singles. “A friend of mine in the business told me years ago that eventually, it’s going to be singles,” he explained. Shortly before COVID hit the US, he saw that Sheryl Crowe released a statement saying she’d no longer release albums and would opt for singles.
Then, Canada had a conversation with Turnpike Troubadours’ manager who told him that there was “no point” in putting out an album unless you’re able to sell millions of copies.
“He said for someone like me who likes to release 12 to 15 songs on a record, there’s no point. He said you’ll release 15 songs and people will hear two of them and it’s almost a waste of songs. When I heard ‘waste of songs,’ that’s when I decided I’m just going to do singles,” Canada explained. “What I will do is once I get enough I’ll throw them all on vinyl. But, I probably won’t do the big title for a record and record release until things change, if things change.”
However, there’s a good chance that he and The Departed will get back in the studio to rerecord more classic Cross Canadian Ragweed records in the future.