(born June 6, 1974) is an American rock musician known as Uncle Kracker
. His singles include "Follow Me", "Smile", and "Drift Away". His music was more rap rock-based at the start of his career before turning in a more country rock influenced direction on later releases.Double WideDouble Wide
was Uncle Kracker's first solo album. Released on June 30, 2000, it peaked at Number 7 on the Billboard 200 album chart and is Shafer's most successful and highest-selling album. "Double Wide" was produced by Kid Rock, with mixing additional production by Michael Bradford. The first single taken off the album was "Follow Me", which was co-written with Bradford, and peaked at Number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June 2001. The album spent the next ten months on the Billboard 200, and "Follow Me" also had a long chart run. His second single, "Yeah Yeah Yeah", failed to hit the Hot 100 chart. Double Wide
was certified 2× Multi-Platinum on November 29, 2001.
No Stranger to Shame
After a great deal of touring to promote the first album, he began to work on a follow-up album. Entitled No Stranger to Shame
, it was released on August 27, 2002. The album reached No. 43 on the Billboard albums chart. A hit single was released, a cover version of Dobie Gray's 1973 Top 5 hit, "Drift Away" - also including Gray as a guest vocalist. Kracker's version of this song peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and it set a record for most weeks at No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, remaining atop this chart for 28 nonconsecutive weeks. Other singles released from No Stranger to Shame
include "In A Little While", which peaked at No. 59 on the Hot 100 and No. 26 on the Adult Contemporary charts. A third single was released, "Memphis Soul Song", which charted on the Adult Top 40 at No. 35. A special remix of "Memphis Soul Song" was also released, featuring harmonies by legendary singing group The Jordanaires, who had famously sung harmonies with Elvis Presley. The album was certified gold by the RIAA within a year of its release. Soon after this period, Kracker became good friends with country music star Kenny Chesney and the two began a successful touring partnership together, brought on by the success of Kenny's hit single "When the Sun Goes Down", featuring Uncle Kracker both on the single, and prominently in the video.
Seventy Two and Sunny
After touring, Shafer began working on a third album which he called Seventy Two and Sunny
. He had completely abandoned all rap from it, and moved onto a pure country sound. The album featured two singles: "Rescue", which only charted at No. 20 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary singles chart but didn't chart on any other charts, and "Writing It Down," which did not chart at all. Shafer did have some success that year though when he was featured on Chesney's track, "When the Sun Goes Down", which peaked at No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, and went on to achieve Gold status. Seventy Two and Sunny
has sold about 200,000 copies. It peaked at No. 39 on the Billboard 200.
Uncle Kracker's fourth studio album is entitled Happy Hour
. The album has been in the works for five years and has since been delayed over because of Atlantic Records' decision to bring in Rob Cavallo to produce the album right as they were finishing their cut of the album in late 2007. An early promo version of the album contained the tracks "Happy Hour", "Vegas Baby", "I'm Not Leaving", "The One That Got Away", and "That's What's Happenin". The first single from the album "Smile" was released on July 13, 2009 and has peaked at No. 31 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was released on September 15, 2009. "Smile" also became his first solo entry on the Hot Country Songs chart, where it debuted at No. 57 for the week of November 7, 2009, and peaked at No. 6 in September 2010. A music video for the track "My Girlfriend" was released in November 2009, though there has been no official word whether it will be serviced as the album's second single. The album also features country singer Jesse Lee (also on Atlantic Records) in a duet they wrote called "Me Again."
Happy Hour: The South River Road Sessions
A six song EP, Happy Hour: The South River Road Sessions
, was released on June 22, 2010. The EP features country remakes of songs off the Happy Hour
album. The singles released were a remake of "Smile" and "Good to Be Me", featuring Kid Rock.
On November 16, 2012, Uncle Kracker put out his fifth studio album, Midnight Special
, produced by Keith Stegall. Sugar Hill Records and Vanguard Records released the album under parent company Welk Music Group. The first single to come off of the album was "Nobody's Sad on a Saturday Night", followed by "Blue Skies". Shafer performed songs from the album while on the road with Kid Rock for his $20 Best Night Ever Tour during 2013.