Live Review: Cody Canada and the Departed in Asheville – 09/29/2018

The legendary Cody Canada and the Departed rocked Asheville over the weekend.

There are few names synonymous with red dirt music and rarely do these individual’s who helped cultivate an entire music scene across the country visit North Carolina, but on Saturday night, Asheville got to experience one of the best with Cody Canada and The Departed. Absent a tour stop in NC over the past two years, it was a welcome return and one that those in attendance truly appreciated. Canada brought a set list of songs from The Departed’s latest album, “3” and a few hits from his previous band, Cross Canadian Ragweed in addition to some covers and a tribute to Tom Petty.

While on stage Canada briefly spoke about his reconciliation with Mike McClure who produced the latest album and also shared a meaningful story related to his song, ‘Pay‘. While even further from Texas than North Carolina, at a tour stop in Oregon, Canada ran into a fan named Travis Moore, sharing a special story behind the song. On Saturday, Canada dedicated the song to him as it once saved his life – keeping Moore alive during a down time after he heard it play while contemplating suicide.

Canada also departed from his traditional guitar to play one created by 357 Custom Guitars, a local company. Playing ‘Constantly‘, the aforementioned ‘Pay‘ and a few other songs on the new axe, Canada mentioned the guitar had been designed for students at his new School of Rock in New Braunfels, Texas but after his test run (maybe jokingly) said it wouldn’t reach the hands of his students.

There were a few moments in the set where Canada gave way to bass player Jeremy Plato, who he’s known since the sixth grade and being playing music alongside for numerous years. A talented musician in his own right, the two are backed by beats from the always entertaining Eric Hansen on the drum kit.

The new three person interpretation of The Departed will forever be in tact according to Canada – at least until his two sons are of “legal drinking age.” It definitely works as Hansen fits in seamlessly between Canada and Plato like he’s been there all along.

A wonderful, energetic, and entertaining show that shouldn’t be missed once Cody Canada and the Departed return to North Carolina – hopefully before both his boys join the band.