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Cracker // Live @ Riverfront Live // 7.21.23

Article & Photos by: Linda Carlson


Cincinnati, OH – It was Friday, a night to relax and enjoy an evening with Cracker, a Virginia rock band that has produced relevant rock since the 1990s.

Of the original band, David Lowery (vocals, guitar) and Johnny Hickman (lead guitar) remain, joined by long-time members Bryan Howard (bass), Carlton “Coco” Owens (drums) and Matt “Pistol” Stoessel (pedal steel guitar).


The style of the band’s rock is difficult to pinpoint precisely.  This is aptly captured in the band’s 2014 album, Berkeley to Bakersfield, which celebrates the influences that these two California cities, each with its own unique musical personality, had on the band’s evolution.  The band’s music has distinct elements of folk, soul, grunge, punk, garage and country comfortably intermingling, and the overall effect is welcoming and engaging.  It draws you in and entertains in a completely satisfying way.


Hickman has a particular knack for guitar showmanship, performing with panache for the band’s eager fans, who call themselves “Crumbs.”


With nine studio albums (along with live albums and some solo projects) under their collective belt, there was plenty of material from which to choose, and the night’s fare was strong:

  • King of Bakersfield
  • Been Around the World
  • Seven Days
  • Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now)
  • 100 Flower Power Maximum
  • Another Song About the Rain
  • Someday
  • Take the Skinheads Bowling (Camper Van Beethoven cover)
  • Euro-Trash Girl
  • California Country Boy
  • Low
  • Loser (Jerry Garcia cover)
  • El Cerrito
  • Get Off This
  • Pictures of Matchstick Men (Status Quo cover)
  • Movie Star
  • The World Is Mine
  • Time Machine


  • Wedding Day
  • One Fine Day (per on-stage setlist)

Opening the night was Ghost Mountain, a regional favorite, who were a well-suited appetizer to the night’s main course.  They are a soulful rock band with a flair for folksy edginess (tambourine played by foot, and heavy doses of amazing harmonica).  They do not disappoint.

Ghost Mountain

Cracker’s current tour continues into September, so check their website for a show near you:

Be sure to click on the image carousel below for more photos from the evening!

Linda Carlson
Linda has been photographing people since she was ten. Forever intrigued by the complex beauty of the human form, she brings the eye of a portraitist to the unpredictability and spectacle of the concert scene.