Cracker

Thursday
31
May

The Kings of Bakersfield

'90s Alt-Country Heroes

 

Why you should see this show…

“Cracker have been weaving subtle yet undeniable country twang throughout their sound since their 1992 self-titled debut. But with their new double album, Berkeley to Bakersfield, at least on the Bakersfield portion of the album, the alt-rock radio band known for such hits as “Low” and “Get Off This” head first into the California country sound —Rolling Stone Country
 

Cracker Bio
Cracker’s tenth and most recent studio effort, the double-album Berkeley To Bakersfield, finds this uniquely American band traversing two different sides of the California landscape — the northern Bay area and further down-state in Bakersfield.

Despite being less than a five-hour drive from city to city, musically, these two regions couldn’t be further apart from one another. In the late ’70s and ’80s a harder-edged style of rock music emerged from the Bay area, while Bakersfield is renowned for its own iconic twangy country music popularized, most famously, by Buck Owens and Merle Haggard in the ’60s and ’70s. Yet despite these differences, they are both elements that Cracker’s two cofounders, David Lowery and Johnny Hickman, have embraced to some degree on nearly every one of their studio albums over the last two decades. On Berkeley To Bakersfield, however, instead of integrating these two genres together within one disc, they’ve neatly compartmentalized them onto their own respective regionally-titled LPs.

As Lowery explains, “On the Berkeley disc the band is the original Cracker lineup — Davey Faragher, Michael Urbano, Johnny and myself. This is the first time this lineup has recorded together in almost 20 years. We began recording this album at East Bay Recorders in Berkeley, CA. For this reason we chose to stylistically focus this disc on the music we most associate with the East Bay: Punk and Garage with some funky undertones. To further match our sense of place we often took an overtly political tone in the lyrics.”

“This Bakersfield disc represents the ‘California country’ side of the band. Throughout the band’s 24-year history we’ve dabbled in Country and Americana but this time we wanted to pay homage to the particular strain of Country and Country-Rock music that emerges from the inland valleys of California.”

Cracker has been described as a lot of things over the years: alt-rock, Americana, insurgent-country, and have even had the terms punk and classic-rock thrown at them. But more than anything Cracker are survivors. Cofounders Lowery and Hickman have been at it for a quarter of a century — amassing ten studio albums, multiple gold records, thousands of live performances, hit songs that are still in current radio rotation around the globe (“Low,” “Euro-Trash Girl,” “Get Off This” and “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out With Me” to name just a few), and a worldwide fan base — that despite the major sea-changes within the music industry — continues to grow each year.

 
Johnny Hickman Bio
Hickman is best known for co-founding the band Cracker. His fiery lead guitar sound and spirited co-writing give flavor to that band’s alternative radio hits, including Teen Angst, Low, Get Off This, and Eurotrash Girl. Kerosene Hat (1994) remains an alternative music collection staple. Lowery and Hickman together are seen as godfathers of the alternative music scene, who turned gently away from plaid-clad grunge in the 1990s with more countrified and bluesy stylings. Their collaboration with the jam-band Leftover Salmon in 2003 further proved that no one genre could contain them.

Johnny’s solo work includes Tilting (July 2012), which takes Hickman’s reliable blazing guitar and roots-rock sounds in a broader direction that includes melodic pop, and 2005’s solo debut Palmhenge. No Depression magazine called Palmhenge “wildly diverse – from the arena rock of ‘Harvest Queen’ to the Bakersfield country of ‘Friends’ to the splendid folk rock of ‘Little Tom’ and ‘The San Bernardino Boy’ – it blends those genres with a dash of alt-rock to create a surprisingly coherent whole.”

Prior to his tenure in Cracker, Hickman toured as a solo/folk acoustic performer, had a brief stint in the Unforgiven (a tongue-in-cheek-Western guitar rock band), and co-founded the Inland Empire (California) cult band the Dangers. Influenced by punk rock, surf guitar, and true Bakersfield country, Hickman’s sound is often imitated but never perfected by anyone but he and his signature 1977 Les Paul.

 

Dining Options

If you’d enjoy a more extensive menu, we suggest you dine downstairs in the Rusty Anchor before your concert. Click here to see the Rusty Anchor menu. To make a reservation, click here or call (216) 242-1250. Please allow 90 minutes to dine prior to the beginning of your show upstairs.

We are excited to announce a NEW MENU upstairs in the Concert Hall, and we encourage you to give it a try. As always, you dine right in your ticketed seat. Click here to see the Concert Hall menu. There is no additional reservation required for dining in the Concert Hall. Last call for dining upstairs is at show time. Beverage service will be available throughout the show.

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