Uncle Kracker’s newest album, Midnight Special was recently released on November 16, and is being touted by the New York Times as one of the year’s best country albums. His current single, “Nobody’s Sad on a Saturday Night” is currently at # 42 on the U.S. country chart.
Despite his relatively recent breakthrough solo success in Country music, Uncle Kracker is actually no stranger to the audience, scoring a #1 hit with "When The Sun Goes Down", his collaboration with Kenny Chesney. He also co-wrote Kid Rock's multi-format smash "All Summer Long" which peaked at #3 on the Billboard country charts.
“I’ve always had a genuine passion for country. I think that audiences appreciate that, and that’s why they’re giving me a chance,” Uncle Kracker explains. “Country music was one of the types of music I grew up with, so elements of it naturally come out in my songwriting. Listening to a lot of my songs - all the way back to ‘Follow Me’ - I feel like I’ve been making country music for years.”
Initially known for his role as DJ in Kid Rock’s legendary Twisted Brown Trucker band, Uncle Kracker made a stunning solo debut with 2001’s “DOUBLE WIDE.” Fueled by the #1 smash, “Follow Me,” the album exploded onto the Billboard 200’s top 10 on its way to 2x-platinum certification from the RIAA.
“NO STRANGER TO SHAME” followed in 2002, highlighted by the top 10 Hot AC hit, “In A Little While,” as well as Uncle Kracker’s biggest solo single to date, a cover of Dobie Gray’s classic “Drift Away.” The track reached the top 10 on Billboard’s “Hot 100” while also setting the record for most weeks at #1 on the AC chart, remaining atop the format’s ranking for a remarkable 22 straight weeks.
2004’s “SEVENTY TWO AND SUNNY” saw Uncle Kracker emphasizing his melodic songwriting and a unique stylistic synthesis of pop, rock, country, soul, blues, and even doo-wop. That same year saw “When The Sun Goes Down,” the aforementioned duet with Kenny Chesney, reaching #1 on its way to becoming an RIAA gold certified country-pop crossover classic.
Uncle Kracker returned with the 2009 release of “HAPPY HOUR,” which features the multi-format smash “Smile.” The album’s version of “Smile” peaked at #2 on the Hot AC chart with the companion video becoming a fixture on the VH1 Top 20 Countdown. Uncle Kracker performed the song on a number of high-profile TV performances, including NBC’s The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, CBS’ The Early Show Saturday Edition (where he premiered “Smile”), Fox & Friends and ABC’s Live! With Regis and Kelly (as part of a special Las Vegas edition).
Known to his parents as Matt Shafer, Uncle Kracker has also maintained his role as one of Kid Rock’s closest friends and collaborators. His co-writing credits alongside the one and only Rock N Roll Jesus includes such blockbuster hits as “Bawitdaba,” “Cowboy,” “Forever,” “Only God Knows Why,” and 2008’s #1 classic, “All Summer Long.”
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