5 Question With Cody Canada: Texas BBQ, Pearl Jam, Stevie Ray Vaughan & More
Cody Canada been has rocking the Red Dirt scene for the better part of three decades. And the man is only 46 years old (today, in fact). So there’s plenty of “rocking” ahead for the birthday boy, including more than 20 dates this summer.
Cody fronted Cross Canadian Ragweed for 16 years (1994–2010), before his current gig at the helm of The Departed (2011 to the present) with Jeremy Plato (bass) and Eric Hansen (drums).
During his career, Cody has dropped more than a dozen albums, including fan favorites Soul Gravy (CCR, 2004) and 3 (Departed, 2018). And new music is on the way. In fact, Cody is planning to release a reboot of Soul Gravy in the coming months. And he recently dropped a cover of The Great Divide’s “If You Want It That Much,” which you can listen to below. In addition, Cody and wife Shannon opened a School of Rock in New Braunfels, Texas, in 2018 to teach the next generation of rockers.
Outsider recently caught up with Cody, and this is Part II of our 5 Questions with him.
1. You’ve been playing lead guitar and singing lead for years, which is incredibly difficult. When did that start?
Cody Canada: That’s my favorite part. Nobody else in the band was doing it. Nobody else was playing lead, so I just did it. Stevie Ray Vaughan was the first I remember . . . “Pride and Joy” was the first song that I really practiced to get the singing and the lead down. He was a big influence. But nobody else was doing it, you know?
2. What’s the best concert you’ve ever attended?
Cody Canada: I saw Eddie Vedder acoustic in Austin at Bass Hall. Probably one of the best things I’ve ever seen in my life. I saw STP [Stone Temple Pilots] a hundred times. Vegas was awesome, but Eddie Vedder acoustic in Austin was probably the [best]. The reason why, there was a dude outside, sitting on the curb, singing Pearl Jam songs. And Eddie sent his people out to get him and brought him in, as a surprise to him and to us. And brought that dude on stage and he sang “Garden.” Who does that? You know what I mean? That’s taking care of your people.
3. Settle this bet. You co-penned ‘This Time Around’ with Randy Rogers, and you both recorded it. Is it a CCR song or RRB song?
Cody Canada: I will say this. We wrote that song and the song “Again” in the same night. We seriously wrote them back to back. I’ve never done that in my life. But that’s how Randy works. He is a songwriting machine. We always joke around that “Again” is our song and “This Time Around” is his song. So if that helps the bet.
[Editor’s note: Cody and Randy teamed up to record “Again” on the upcoming Soul Gravy reboot. Listen to CCR’s original version below.]
4. During your downtime, what keeps you busy. Do you like to read, get outside?
Cody Canada: I wish I was a reader. I really do. I always wanted to be a reader. Brian, our tour manager, we always talk about this. I read two pages and fall asleep. My wife and I have a School of Rock at home, so that’s our downtime. So it’s either teaching kids or hauling kids to a gig. There’s always open mics in New Braunfels, Texas. It’s a music town, so there’s always something every night of the week. My downtime is more busy than this time. I rest when I come on the road.
5. Give us a BBQ rec next time we’re down in your neck of Texas?
Cody Canada: Cooper’s BBQ in New Braunfels, Texas. [Also in] Llano, Texas; Fort Worth, Texas; Katy, Texas. Cooper’s BBQ is the best. They have a pork chop, a smoked pork chops, that’s [huge]. It has just that little thin layer of fat on it. It’s the best thing ever. We get a lot of barbecue. A lot of people in Texas bring us barbecue and say it’s the best barbecue in Texas. Like yeah, bullshit. Cooper’s is the one.