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Cracker

During Cracker's heyday in the 1990s, the Virginia-based band molded elements of alternative pop/rock and country into several irreverent, buzzworthy anthems. Singer/guitarist David Lowery made no attempt to mask his affinity for traditional roots music, but his own background was far from traditional, as he spent the '80s fronting the quirky alternative outfit Camper Van Beethoven. Shortly after Camper Van Beethoven embarked on a long hiatus in 1990, Lowery began demoing new material with guitarist Johnny Hickman and bassist Davey Faragher. The three musicians named the project Cracker (although several of those early demos would later surface under the title David Lowery Demo Mixes) and set up their headquarters in Richmond, VA. By 1991, the band had signed a recording contract with Virgin Records and enlisted the help of several drummers (Jim Keltner, Rick Jaeger, and Phil Jones), all of whom helped shape the sound of Cracker's debut album.

Cracker released their self-titled debut in 1992. Filled with guitar-driven rock songs and gravelly vocals, the album established Cracker's presence in the rock arena, and "Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now)" became a number one modern rock single. A year later, the sophomore effort Kerosene Hat spawned another popular MTV/radio hit with "Low," which charted in the U.K. and also cracked the pop charts in America. The album went platinum as a result. By the time Golden Age arrived in 1996, however, the band's hitmaking lineup had begun to splinter. Bassist Faragher was replaced by Bob Rupe, while the drum spot was occupied by a trio of players: Charlie Quintana, Eddie Bayers, and Johnny Hott.

Golden Age spun off another hit with "I Hate My Generation," and the band toured in support of its release. After returning home from the road, Lowery began focusing on his Richmond-based recording studio, Sound of Music, where he produced such artists as Joan Osborne, Lauren Hoffman, Magnet, Fighting Gravity, and Sparklehorse. He also co-produced the Counting Crows along with former Camper Van Beethoven producer Dennis Herring. Lowery's work wasn't limited to the music world, however, as he co-starred in director Eric Drilling's independent film River Red (also composing the film's score) and appeared in another film, director Matt Leutwyler's This Space Between Us.

By the end of the decade, Cracker seemed to have settled on a somewhat permanent lineup comprised of drummer Frank Funaro, keyboardist/accordion player Kenny Margolis, and the preexisting core of Lowery, Hickman, and Rupe. This version of the band issued 1998's Gentleman's Blues, a more reflective album that saw the musicians paying homage to Southern rock and blues. Camper Van Beethoven unexpectedly re-formed shortly thereafter, and Lowery began splitting his time between both bands, whose other members frequently joined whichever group was on the road.

Cracker (along with select musicians from CVB) issued a live album, 2001's Traveling Apothecary Show & Revue, and Cracker followed its release with Forever (2002) and a rowdy set of country covers called Countrysides in 2003. The latter album also marked Cracker's first effort as an independent band, as they had recently left the Virgin roster. Three years later, Cracker returned (this time via the U.K.-based indie label Cooking Vinyl) with Greenland, which featured help from guest artists David Immerglück and Mark Linkous. Another concert release, Berlin (Live in Berlin December 2006), arrived in 2008, and the studio effort Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey which cracked Billboard's Top 200 chart, followed one year later in 2009. That same year the band went on a tour of Iraq, playing for U.S. troops while working on the "Yalla Yalla" video which was produced by compiling YouTube videos of American soldiers stationed overseas. Public radio network NPR profiled the tour on their weekly series The Show. A year later the band played a series of sold-out shows with Camper Van Beethoven duubed the 2010 Traveling Apothecary Tour. ~ Andrew Leahey & Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Never heard this, without Cracker alt rock would've died in 99, for the most part, or at least went in a even stranger direction. I have a new found respect for the song, and its not New Found Glory.
karlburke181
When will they come back to the Cats Cradle
They played How Can I Live Without You for a special CD from a local radio station, and it's now one of my favorite songs.
One of a kind guitar!
FELL IN LOVE WITH CRACKER AFTER EPISODE 2 OR 3 OF RECTIFY
Story of a chapter of my life! Lol. Definitely gonna check out more of their songs.
danzigirwin
Definitely an underappreci a t e d band. Great live shows.
I saw them at a small club in Charlottesvi l l e , Va some years back. The bass player was late to the gig. She was in a wedding in Richmond, Va. One of the roadies sat in until she got there. She still wearing her wedding gown when she arrived. She was the best dressed person on stage.
Favorite song Another Song About The Rain :) Better live though. Went to the best of their concerts, but very low-profile. It was "Live At The Crossroads/R o c k p a l a s t Festival" Check it out sometime :)
My fav band, and im old (56) loved them since early 90s. Best live!!!
kvons1
Always liked this group's stuff for the most part.
scottfry16
Son, please remove your skirt...
Don't you want to go down?
Great band, underrated.
What the world needs now is another folk singer like I need a hole in my head.
brandonmlemo n
I had Kerosene Hat when I was a youngster, Low was one of least favorite songs. Good album.....
How about the hidden tracks on Kerosine Hat? Lets hear it.
Cracker live is always a treat. Saw them last week with Bare Naked Ladies. Wish they could have played more than the opening 5 songs - but they have a loyal following, and we'll go see them anytime.
kvons1
Kerosene Hat---great album. You Bring Us Down---take your sorry a** back to Florida!
Who, in your opinion, is the best band that no one listens to (since Cracker is #2) Mr. McGurk? My two are Fountains Of Wayne and Cowboy Mouth....
jring289
Cracker is the best band ever, They reinvent their style somewhat every album but it's always great. Someone said earlier their records don't do them justice and even though I love them all I have to agree. I thought One Fine Day was just OK until I saw it live and it's a powerhouse. Go see them live, again, and again, and again. You'll never be disappointed .
Kerosene Hat is an unbelievable album! Love every song on it.
The lyrics to Movie Star crack me up :)
awsome band go see them live!!
Low by far is my favorite
skyetaylor10 2
COOL SHHHTUFF! I LIKE'M!
what are your favorite cracker songs guys?
Cracker is addictive... a n d y ears need more!
cracker is the second best band on the planet... that no one lstens to. but that is because te stations wont play them, the only place I hear them ,other than my collection is pandora. so thank you pandora
This bands recordings do no justice for them. They're one of the best live acts i've ever seen.
'Low' is the Highest...
im selling all my crackers cause my wife found cracker crumbs in bed.she say they must go.i got peanutbutter and cheese crackers. .49cents per packet. i think its a great deal.email if interested
I cant afford my habits...all the time.
jdo4917
if you think they sound good on their studio recordings, check 'em out LIVE :
One of the Best Live Bands out there !
lOVE cRACKER
Found Cracker in the early days. Went to a show in ATL on Halloween they were all in dresses. Johny and Dave rocked for hours. Trust me they understood what a rock and roll career is all about. Long bus rides between monotonomy.
Hey f**k you Brian., You are just a commie a**hole. You want to hang out in an alley mother f**king s**t for brains? I don't think you want that you big f**king f*g for brains. GTFO and STFU. We want to talk about Cracker and not your f**king acne problem.
gm_gracie197 1
I agrre with you all, the good shepard needs some english classes. Also, have you ever thought that Tom Petty is doing better than YOU! Atleast hes out there making his music while your at home wining about how he sucks when you cant do any better. If you could it would be us saying how much you sucked!
Hey, Hey, Like felling down? Look in mirror, each day, and like what you are looking at! Life is wonderful, young folks. Check out the Outfield group.
zapmc
I invented Rock and Roll and everyone sounds like me. Even you.
subalpine_br y a n
Hey "The Good Shepard", your vocabulary is as strong as a drop out gang banger. Why don't you go back and finish 6th grade where you dropped out at. Tom Petty is GOD and you have no right to rag on him. You obviously have no credibility and no idea what you are talking about. Go drink a fourty in the alley!
I hope The Good Shephard is joking, but guessing by his name and how he misspelled it, he probably is as ignorant as his rant.
Tom Petty scares me...
Yeah, I hear Tom Petty + Eels.

I actually used to think Low was by the Eels.
jenniferboni t a
I miss Cracker!

Glad to see they are back again.

http://www.y o u t u b e . c o m / w a t c h ? v = H y x I r f j l a 8 8
Sorry, not hearing Petty at all. If I didn't know better I'd say it was the guy from Camper Van Beethoven.
what! he's all petty
Not nasally enough to be TP
samgrsn
s**t... it is tom petty
gimmedatbeat 6 2
haha yeah he does sound like tom petty!
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