Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Berkeley to Bakersfield

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Berkeley to Bakersfield

Article excerpt

BERKELEY TO BAKERSFIELD

Cracker (429 Records, 2014)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

When we think "California," two things probably come to mind: Hollywood glitz and Silicon Valley billions. But Berkeley to Bakersfield is a tribute to the Golden State's radical politics and blue collar grit east of the San Francisco Bay and the hardscrabble life of the Central Valley.

When Cracker started in the early 1990s, they were based in Richmond, Virginia. But the driving forces of the band, singer-songwriter David Lowery and lead guitarist Johnny Hickman, are childhood friends from Redlands, California. The band's appeal peaked in 1993 with the album Kerosene Hat, and in the 21st century Cracker albums have become increasingly rare.

But Lowery and his band haven't lost a step. Berkeley to Bakersfield is a two-disc set that aspires to the scope and gravitas of a novel. And to emphasize the point, Cracker won't let you download individual tracks on digital download sites. …

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