The Green Fields Of Foreverland

Cracker, with The Elms
Exit/In, Nashville, TN
Thursday, September 28, 2006

Cracker has had a busy year. After learning that their former label Virgin was going to release a pointless second "Best of" CD (
Get On With It) in February, they went into the studio to re-record their best known songs and released their own Greatest Hits Redux the exact same day, and at a lower price. Many of the new versions sound so much like the originals that only the most hardcore fan would be able to tell the difference. I didnt realize this version of "Low" was different until the new accordian solo kicked in.

Cracker - "Low" (mp3)

In June they released their first album of new material in four years,
Greenland. The album has been widely received as more serious and mature than their previous work, and the tour to promote it seemed to reflect that as well. The set worked a healthy mix of their best past work in with the new material, but sandwiched between the more reflective numbers from the new album, it gave the concert a heavier emotional weight than you might have expected. Thats not to say it wasn't a good show; Cracker is a great band, and their mix of rock, country, blues and psychedelia is always entertaining. But it certainly didn't feel like a party.

Openers The Elms delivered a set of solid bluesy midwestern rock. Hailing from Seymour, IN (the same town that gave us Johnny Cougar), they sound like what I imagine Mellencamp might have if he had grown up listening to AC/DC instead of sixties pop radio. They made several references to small town life throughout their set, and the influence is definitely visible. Frontman Owen Thomas obviously spent his childhood in front of the mirror practicing rock star moves that he still hasn't quite perfected yet. Overall they come off kind of like an American-ized Oasis, and though there are a thousand other bands across the country playing this kind of blues based hard pop, there aren't very many who do it this well.

Their website seems to be devoid of any audio samples, but you can check out three tracks from their new album
The Chess Hotel on their myspace page.

post title by The Gentle Waves


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