Adventus by The Departed

Cody Canada has been an influential figure in Texas/Red Dirt/Americana music for many years.  As former front-man of the band Cross Canadian Ragweed, he spent his late teens and all of his twenties traveling the country and sometimes the globe bringing their brand of Texas/Oklahoma Rock to eager crowds of loyal fans.  When it came time to close the door on that great part of music history, a beautiful thing happened.  Cody, along with childhood friend and CCR bassist Jeremy Plato, Seth James, Steve Littleton and Dave Bowen all came together and formed the band Cody Canada and The Departed.  A tribute album to Oklahoma songwriters that influenced Canada had been talked about for many of the Ragweed years, but this new band and new energy felt like the right time to bring that dream to reality.  Cody has a sticker that Jason Boland gave to him many years ago on the bottom of his beautifully worn Paul Reed Smith guitar that reads "This is Indian Land".  This ended up becoming a great name for this great tribute album which in itself set a really high bar for The Departed to eventually deliver an album of their own songs to follow up Indian Land.

Short of 2 years after "This is Indian Land" dropped, The Departed brings us an amazing selection of 14 new original songs in their album Adventus.  Unlike Indian Land that featured primarily lead vocals from Canada, this album is a balance of shared lead vocals between Cody and Seth as well as another with Jeremy Plato delivering his best recorded vocal performance to date, and one instrumental only piece with amazing licks from every instrument in the band.  The first single to drop on radio was the first song on the album "Worth The Fight", which features Cody on lead vocals; although it sounds as though at one point Cody was pushing for "Burden" featuring Seth James on vocals as the first single.  "Worth The Fight" is a great introduction to this album and features some of the masterful guitar licks we've grown used to from this amazing team of musicians.    I've listened several times to every track on this album, and I have to say one of my favorites is "Burden" in which Seth James delivers vocals that originally brought my mind back to the band Soundgarden during the mid-90's, but after going back and listening to some of my Soundgarden favorites I can only imagine that when Mr. Cornell listens to James' performance on "Burden" he might think to himself "THAT is how I sounded in MY head!".

After nearly 2 years of playing "This is Indian Land" loud and often, it's nice that The Departed has delivered yet another fantastic album that is sure to get frequent flyer mileage in my ears up and down Interstate 35 every day.  If you tried to nail me down on my favorite songs from The Departed, I would probably respond by showing you my "Best of" playlist on my phone that includes 33 of the 33 tracks released between the 2 albums plus a few bonus tracks you would have gotten for free too if you had bought Indian Land on the boarding pass usb drive.  By the way, I saw them play live at Gruene Hall during the KNBT Americana Music Jam back during May of this year, and I noticed Dave Bowen wasn't the man behind the drums this time.  As I listened to them I noticed a more intense, driving energy from the drums than I had ever heard from them before.  No knock to Dave; he did a great job for the band on Indian Land and touring with them all that time, but with Chris Doege on drums the energy is amazing and the band is complete!

Go pick up "Adventus" at any good record store.  If they don't have it then they don't meet my qualification.  If they do, please thank them for carrying good music!  If you don't want to play russian roulette with record stores go buy it online at iTunes (link) or at RAGSCHWAG (link)

The Departed
Music of New Braunfels

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