Cross Canadian Ragweed cancels Oklahoma City Family Jam, still playing Sunday's Music and Mayhem in Eufaula
A version of this story also appears in Friday’s The Oklahoman.
Al-country group opts to cancel zoo concert
Oklahoma-Texas red dirt rockers Cross Canadian Ragweed have cancelled their seventh annual Family Jam, scheduled for Aug. 28 at Oklahoma City’s Zoo Amphitheatre.
The alt-country quartet announced last week plans to take a rare break from its busy touring schedule to give the band members more time with their families. In particular, drummer Randy Ragsdale, who lives in Yukon, expressed a need to stay home with his son, JC, who has autism.
The foursome of Grady Cross, Cody Canada, Jeremy Plato and Ragsdale has established a reputation as musical road warriors, playing played more than 220 dates annually for 13 of the last 15 years.
“For many years my band has been my top priority. Being in a touring band you have to give it your all, give it 100 percent. Right now, I need to be at home for my family, particularly my son JC, who has autism. He’s 10 years old now and still struggling in his development. I feel the only way I can help him is to be more hands-on and close to home,” Ragsdale said in the statement.
The band’s publicist this week released a revised list of tour dates, noting that the group cancelled fewer than half its planned 2010 shows. Among the dates the band will keep are Sunday’s fourth annual Music and Mayhem Concert, also featuring Randy Rogers Band, Wade Bowen and Mike McClure Band, at Eufaula Cove Amphitheater in Eufaula.
Ragweed also will play June 25 at WinStar World Casino in Thackerville.
In addition, the band still plans to perform next month on an Armed Forces Entertainment tour in Japan and at the prestigious Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tenn.
But the country-rockers scrapped several shows, including the Family Jam and Red Dirt Round Up in Fort Worth, Texas, two big events for which they serve as key organizers as well as headliners.
Zoo Amphitheatre Manager Howard Pollack said the Cross Canadian Ragweed Family Jam has sold out the past five years and become an anticipated annual event for the venue’s season. Tickets had not yet gone on sale for this year’s concert.
“I’m upset about the loss of finance, but I’m not upset with the band because I can’t begrudge anyone for what they need to do. … They’re friends of mine as well,” he said. “These guys have basically toured straight for the last, what, 15 years. It could burn anybody out.”
He hopes to fill the Aug. 28 date with a rock show and is working to schedule a daylong red dirt show for fall. The latter will likely follow the Family Jam format, offering a lineup of favorites on the red dirt/Texas music scene along with other bands. Last year’s event featured red dirt standouts Mike McClure, Stoney LaRue and Brandon Jenkins as well as rockers Tesla and Toadies.
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