Chattanooga’s Live Music Scene – Cody Canada & The Departed Kick Off Riverfront Nights Saturday Night Concert Series

  • Friday, August 2, 2013
  • Bob Payne
Bob Payne
Bob Payne
photo by That One Guy

For 16 years, Cody Canada was best known as the lead singer for Cross Canadian Ragweed, achieving success on the charts, as well as on the touring circuit. In 2011, Canada and former Ragweed band-mate Jeremy Plato joined with long-time friends Seth James, Steve Littleton, and Dave Bowen to form Cody Canada & The Departed. Chris Dodge replaced Bowen on drums shortly after the band began.

Already the band has realized commercial touring success, especially on the outdoor festival circuit from late March until late August each year. They released their second album last November, Adventus, which is all original music, composed by Canada and his band mates.   Their first album, This Is Indian Land, consisted mainly of covers from Oklahoma based songwriters, so the Adventus album is unique to their style and songwriting expertise.

I had a chance to interview Cody Canada on Thursday and gained insight on his life and influences. I felt like there would be some Merle Haggard influence on his style, as well as the Allman Brothers. I was right, as Cody said his dad was a big Merle fan, so he got heavy doses of Haggard when he was younger. I guessed on the Allman Brothers, as a couple of his songs reminded me of some early songs by the Brothers. In a rarity, I was right twice in one day. The Departed also utilizes the Hammond B-3 organ, so my guess was somewhat educated.

Cody went on to say that George Strait, Molly Hatchet, Skynyrd, and Steve Earle also influenced his style. As for writing songs, Canada says he truly believes that in his case, music is his life and joy, so he writes about what he likes and the truth. Writing is also therapeutic to Canada, he says. Like Merle Haggard, his advice to new, up & coming artists is to be sure and write your own songs – and not just because that’s where the money is, either. It’s exciting and exhilarating to perform an original composition. 

When I asked which artist with which he would most love to share the stage, he knew exactly who it was without a lot of thought – Tedeschi and Trucks. Once again, a little Allman influence, perhaps?

Riverfront Nights begins this Saturday Night and continues weekly until September 14, with one week off for the Southern Brewers Festival on August 24th. The Riverfront Nights Concert Series is free to the public and is held on Chattanooga’s Riverfront downtown. Local opener No Big Deal begins at 7 p.m., with Cody Canada and The Departed scheduled to go on at 8 p.m. Shows are all pet and child friendly, but coolers are not allowed. Lawn chairs and blankets are allowed, plus there is seating on the terraced seats facing the river, right in front of where the big Coca-Cola Stage would be during Riverbend.

Vendors with beer, soft drinks, and food will be on-site from 6:30 p.m. each Saturday night. Boaters are welcome to make arrangements for parking adjacent to the stage by contacting Marine Max.

The is a proud sponsor of Riverfront Nights for 2013.

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