CRACKER

Neighborhood Theatre & MaxxMusic present

CRACKER

THE WHISKEY GENTRY

Sat, June 17, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Neighborhood Theatre

Charlotte, NC

$3 Under 21 Surcharge at Door (Valid ID required for entry into venue. Under 18 permitted with parent.)

Accepted forms of ID: State Issued ID or Driver's License, Military ID, Passport.

CRACKER
CRACKER
Cracker have just released their tenth studio effort, entitled Berkeley To Bakersfield, a double-album that 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 almost 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.

Cracker’s Berkeley To Bakersfield is out now via 429 Records and is available on CD and digital formats.
THE WHISKEY GENTRY
THE WHISKEY GENTRY
Following the release of their first two acclaimed albums, Please Make Welcome (2011) and Holly Grove (2013), the Atlanta-based band The Whiskey Gentry are set to release their third full-length studio album entitled Dead Ringer this spring. On it, the husband and wife duo of Lauren Staley & Jason Morrow and bandmates have created an effort that builds on many of the sounds of their previous albums - incorporating deep country, Americana, honky-tonk, bluegrass and a stiff shot of gritty rock ’n’ roll, yet it also finds the band testing themselves and pushing beyond their own boundaries.

Dead Ringer deals with growing up, and how that’s affected the band’s relationships, and the places they’ve gone and people they’ve met in the process. As singer/songwriter Lauren Staley puts it, “There's also a lot of questioning where you are in your life: are you going to follow your dream, or are you going to do what society thinks you should do?”

It’s apparent with this effort that Staley & Co. have opted for the former. “A common lyrical thread throughout this album are stories about being on the road,” Lauren admits, “and chasing your dreams and the outcomes - either good or bad - in doing that.”

Stepping outside of the comfort zone of their previous recordings, the band has moved in a different direction musically. “Sonically, the biggest difference of this record is that we recorded it live together in the same room at Echo Mountain Recording Studio (Asheville, NC),” Lauren explains. “There are less overdubs, which makes it sound more like how it would if you were to see us in person - it’s raw, it's not perfect. We worked with a producer for the first time (Les Hall), and he had so many amazing ideas we'd never thought of and really pushed us to think outside of our box. There's an energy on this record that we've never captured before, and I think it was a complete game changer for our sound.”

Dead Ringer has more guitars, more attitude and more of an edge than anything the band has done before. It's not such a massive departure in sound that fans won't understand it, but they will notice. “We are not a different band,” Lauren explains, “but we've definitely grown up and are changed people from the time we started this band. I think we're better musicians, better songwriters. We've learned lessons and we've worked hard, and we want to tell our current fans and new fans the stories of what we've experienced on this journey. Musically, there are still elements of bluegrass and honky-tonk in our sound, and there always will be. However, I think we've expanded the scope of what we can offer people - there's something for everyone on this record.”

The Whiskey Gentry has been tearing up the road for the better half of the last decade, logging over 150 shows each year, and winning over crowds at major festivals such as Shaky Knees, Shaky Boots, Merlefest, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, FloydFest and many others. With the release of Dead Ringer they’ll continue this trend, bringing their raucous, high-energy shows to audiences from coast-to-coast.

The Whiskey Gentry’s Dead Ringer will be available on limited vinyl, CD and digital formats on April 7th via Pitch-A-Tent Records.
Venue Information:
Neighborhood Theatre
511 East 36th Street
Charlotte, NC, 28205
http://www.neighborhoodtheatre.com/