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Uncle Kracker at the Royal Oak, 3 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

Posted: Thursday, November 23, 2017

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Uncle Kracker is no turkey. But he’s become a Thanksgiving weekend in his home town.

The singer and songwriter -- born Matt Shafer in Mount Clemens and known for hits such as “Follow Me” and a cover of Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away” -- was the original hype man in Kid Rock’s Twisted Brown Trucker Band. He’s logged five solo albums since 2000 and also topped the charts as Kenny Chesney’s duet partner for 2004’s “When The Sun Goes Down.”

New music is in the offing, Kracker tells us, but his current concern is his annual Black Friday show at the Royal Oak Music Theatre...

• After starting out playing Thanksgiving night in Mount Clemens, Uncle Kracker is happy with his current Black Friday tradition. “I love it,” Kracker, 43, says by phone. “Years ago when we were doing it on Thanksgiving night it was kind of just a plan to make sure I was home for Thanksgiving, or at least one holiday. I like the way it’s turned into an annual thing. It’s fun to hear people talking about it like, ‘Oh, Black Friday...’ They look forward to it, too. It’s fun for other people to have something to look forward to, not just me.”

• This year marks the 15th anniversary of Kracker’s second solo album, “No Stranger To Shame,” which went gold and featured his chart-topping version of Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away.” “Y’know what; I listened to ‘No Stranger’ probably four months ago for the first time in 14 years, I bet,” he says. “You listen to a lot of stuff from that long ago and you cringe ‘cause you’re like, ‘Oh, I could’ve done that better,’ ‘Ah, shoulda just brought in this guy,’ ‘If I’d brought another dude in to play this’...Monday morning quarterback type of stuff. But (the album) seems like it stands up. People still like those songs.”

• Kracker’s last album, “Midnight Special,” came out five years ago this month, and he acknowledges that it’s time for him to hunker down on something new. “I’ve been working on a record probably the last year or so, and just kind of working on wrapping up a (label) deal and putting out the next piece of work, I guess,” he says. “I don’t know if I’ll do an EP or an album next; It seems like people are doing both. Everything’s so different nowadays. But what’s good is I can tour whenever I want to. I don’t need to wait until an album cycle. It’s like a never-ending tour for me.”

If You Go:

• Uncle Kracker

• Friday, Nov. 24. Doors open at 7 p.m.

• Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St.

• Tickets are $9.95 in advance, $20 day of show, $55 reserved.

• Call 248-399-2980 or visit royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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