Yesterday, and basically every day, I heard “Low” by Cracker on Q101. The song came out more than 20 years ago, but when it came on it still sounded as good as it did blaring out of the windows of my 1991 Pontiac Sunbird when I was in high school. That song was the bands biggest hit by quite a margin commercially, but they’ve been putting out solid records this whole time with a loyal fan base buying up everything David Lowery and Johnny Hickman create.
Their new album, a double LP called Berkeley to Bakersfield, takes Cracker back to the southern California sound made famous by Brian Wilson and The Mamas & The Papas. If you only know the band from their early alternative rock days, it’s a big shift to accept. Lowery’s soft folky vocals that open the album on “Torches And Pitchforks” is a far cry from the half-screams of “Low.” The quality is there to make the transition fairly painless, though. It’s 18 tracks of solid music that also brings in some Clash-like sounds.
Listening, it’s easy to see why those loyal fans have stuck around well after the mainstream decided to move away from most of the bands that got big in the ’90’s. You can grab a copy of this new double album here. Cracker also just announced a concert at Cubby Bear on Friday April 3rd to celebrate the 2015 Chicago Cubs season opener. Tickets are available here. The Shams Band will open the show, so get there early.