Local Wire

Uncle Kracker

Uncle Kracker (otherwise known as Matt Shafer) was at the brink of divorce when he was pulling double duty as a solo artist and Kid Rock's DJ. But dropping out of Kid Rock's Twisted Brown Trucker Band has injected new life into Kracker's voice. It's given him plenty to write about as well. His forthcoming CD, 72 and Sunny, is painfully confessional, sharing the relationship roller-coaster ride.

Although his hits "Drift Away," "Follow Me" and "In a Little While" were decidedly pop in nature, lately Kracker has found his way into country radio with the help of Kenny Chesney. He and Chesney dueted on the title track from Chesney's latest album, When the Sun Goes Down, as well as Kracker's "Last Night Again." Kracker's foray into country music wasn't unexpected just to fans. "It's been a hell of a ride," he says of his career twist. "I feel lucky. It's always a nice surprise."

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Christina Fuoco