Record Exchange Boise



Format: CD
Label: Imusic
Catalog: COOKCD 261
Rel. Date: 10/07/2003
UPC: 801190114825

Countrysides [PA]
Artist: Cracker
Format: CD
New: Currently Unavailable New

Formats and Editions


O Bubba, Where Art Thou! Despite Cracker's shameless pandering to alterna-pop trendies throughout most of the '90s, lately the group's been making an effort to reclaim some of the kitchen sink eclecticism that made leader David Lowery's previous (and recently resurrected) combo Camper Van Beethoven so magical. This includes the Cracker-Leftover Salmon bluegrass project O Cracker Where Art Thou? plus, pertinent to the record at hand, Cracker's pseudonymous country-rock persona Ironic Mullet, which was recently spotted on tour as Camper's opening act.

Most likely for marketing purposes, Ironic Mullet proper has been relegated to a Quicktime cameo on an enhanced portion of Countrysides, putting the musical focus squarely on Cracker and its ability to interpret eight country-flavored numbers from other writers (not counting the Tex-Mex flavored original "Ain't Gonna Suck Itself," a poison-pen kiss-off to Cracker's former label Virgin). Among the more straightforward selections: a gracefully reverent take on Dwight Yoakam's "Buenas Noches From a Lonely Room" and a bleary-eyed "The Bottle Let Me Down" that does composer Merle Haggard proud. Less expected are the cantina-rock reading of Springsteen's "Sinaloa Cowboys" and a Crackerized, poppy take of ex-Drovers Ike Reilly's "Duty Free." But with the whisky-bent and hellbound version of Hank Jr.'s "Family Tradition" and a singalong for Ray Wylie Hubbard's timeless "Up Against the Wall Redneck Mothers," Cracker breaks on through to the other side of the tracks. These tunes are rousing enough to bring out the inner mullet in anyone.
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