Going back to your small hometown after you’ve left is a funny thing. It is a significant theme in one of my current reads, Empire Falls by Richard Russo. I’ve been gone for almost twenty years now, although I did three short stints during that period crashing at home. I think I am finally past always feeling 17 in my hometown (and clenching up every single time I see the cops). Having a baby will do that to you. But with a roadtrip home impending, my thoughts are turning to my hometown and my old friends.
Like most great Texas country acts, Cross Canadian Ragweed was out of Oklahoma. Cross Canadian Ragweed is no more but lives on in spirit through former band leader Cody Canada and the Departed. 17 has the perfect origin story—Cody Canada and fellow songwriter Jason Boland were on a beer run in Canada’s hometown. Canada saw a cop, freaked a bit, told Boland he felt 17 again, and Boland responded “you’re always 17 in your hometown.” I saw the two sing the song together in a show with Chris Knight at Gruene Hall (it doesn’t get any more Texas than that, kids).
17 is off Cross Canadian Ragweed’s self-titled album (also known as the “Purple Album”).
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