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What are the odds? Uncle Kracker and Kid Rock, best friends since meeting as kids in their native Michigan, both have new albums set for release on Nov. 19. For Kid Rock, it’s the aptly titled Rebel Soul, while Kracker debuts Midnight Special, his first album for Americana-bluegrass label Sugar Hill Records.
Kracker was once a key member of Kid’s Twisted Brown Trucker band, manning the turntables as DJ before making the risky decision to leave the group and launch his own solo career.
The unlikely country artist admits to missing the camaraderie he shared with his pal, but doesn’t regret his decision.
“There are a few things I can say I miss about it, and there are a lot of things I don’t miss. I left to be able to focus on one thing and I did it. That’s what I’m happy about, that I didn’t leave for nothing,” says Kracker of his time with Kid. “I miss running around the world with your best friend. That part I miss. But I don’t miss working for somebody. There’s a lot about it that I don’t miss.”
Still, Kracker—born Matt Shafer—says he and his old pal remain tight.
“We don’t see each other nearly as much as we used to, because, shoot, we used to be on the same bus. But like I said, that’s the part I miss,” he explains. “But the reality is I left for some really important stuff.”
Like his family. He and wife Melanie have three daughters: Skylar, Madison and Troy.
“Absolutely,” Kracker confirms. “Everything I do revolves around them. It’s their schedules, their time, everything happens for them. They influence everything I do.”
Look for more on Uncle Kracker, his new album, Midnight Special, and his family life in the Dec. 3 issue of Country Weekly, on stands Nov. 26.