Cross Canadian RagweedCross Canadian Ragweed

Cross Canadian Ragweed was formed by singer Cody Canada, guitarist Grady Cross, drummer Randy Ragsdale and bassist Jeremy Plato -- its name derived from a combination of Cross, Canada and Ragsdale. The band honed its sound in the early '90s while based in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In 2001, the members relocated to Texas, where it developed a rabid following -- due in part to extensive touring -- before disbanding in 2010. The quartet became emblematic of the American Red Dirt movement known for merging country and rock.

"It was Gordon, Nebraska. It was the biggest shithole gig we've played. We'd been on a 7-week run. ... Everybody was missing home and missing families. We'd actually come home for one day for a friend of ours' birthday party. Then we turned around and went to Gordon, Nebraska. We'd just been there. It was under 100 miles from Sturgis (South Dakota), and we'd just played Sturgis. We thought, 'This better be a pretty kick-ass gig if we're taking two days off just to drive.'

"We got there and it was in an outside rodeo areana. The trailer we played on had particle board sides and roof, and they had gotten it stuck in all the cow shit and horse shit earlier that day. They were trying to pull the stage out and they swung shit all over -- so it was green, dried crap.

"They asked us to have a bite to eat because they were cooking steaks. We were sitting in the horse stall area, and there were flies buzzing all over the food. People were actually sitting in piles of horse shit.

"The guy walked up to our road manager and said, 'You know, Randy Travis said this is the worst gig he ever played.'

"We thought, 'Why the hell would you repeat that?'

"They were harping on us all day to play country-friendly songs for the crowd because there were a lot of older people there who were sponsors. But we said, 'You hired us, so we're going to play what we are.'

"Halfway through the set, the guy came up to our road manager and asked if we could finish the night playing nothing but Willie Nelson — which if it was our idea, we'd have done it.

"That was the worst gig ever. Usually our contract is 90 minutes, and we play 2 hours and 15 minutes. But that was one of those where right when the clock hits that 90 minute mark, 'We're out of here!'"

— Cody Canada, Cross Canadian Ragweed