Cracker members, Camper Van Beethoven guitarist, come together for acoustic show at ST94

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By Mike Prince
For 21st-Century Media

Roughly 12 years after getting his band back together, and 14 years after first collaborating with Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven’s Greg Lisher will be teaming up with two other musicians for something the three of them have never done before.

Cracker. Photo by Jason Thrasher

Cracker. Photo by Jason Thrasher

Along with Cracker’s David Lowery and Johnny Hickman, Lisher, Camper Van Beethoven’s lead guitar player, will perform an acoustic set at the Sellersville Theater on July 14 at 8 p.m
Despite playing sets together since Lowery came up with the idea back in 2000, the three musicians have never played an acoustic set together, something Lisher said he is looking forward to doing because of the opportunities it will allow them on stage.
“This is the first time that we’ve played together like this,” Lisher said. “We used to do something like the Apothecary Tour back in 2000 after we put Camper (Van Beethoven) back together after breaking up in 1990, when we would sit in with Cracker and play Camper songs interspersed in their set, but this is kind of like a modification of that. With the acoustic, it will be more of a stripped-down version, and I am just looking forward to getting out and playing. It’s a good challenger as a musician to make these songs work and also to come up with some really cool musical arrangements that you wouldn’t necessarily do with the full band. I’m looking forward to seeing how we put things together.”
With the acoustic set-up, the show, which will see 23-year-old singer-songwriter Lydia Loveless opening, will feature a much more intimate setting than your typical rock show.
Lisher, who lives in Santa Cruz, CA, was born in 1963, and was an original member of Camper Van Beethoven, an American alternative rock band formed in Redlands, CA in 1983.
Despite a breakup many years ago, Camper Van Beethoven was put back together in 2002, and the group is still going strong.
“We put out a record a couple weeks ago, and it feels good that I’m still able to get out there and play music. I’m thrilled about that,” Lisher said. “Bands usually don’t have long lives, so I’m happy that it’s still going and I get to get out there and do what I love to do.”
Lisher said that it’s difficult to get the full band back together, as the violin player lives in Sweden, and touring just depends on everyone’s schedules.

Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven.  Photo by Danny Clinch

Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven. Photo by Danny Clinch

“Some years are pretty heavy with touring, but we do what we can,” Lisher said. “David [Lowery] invited me to represent this new Camper record that we have, so I’m looking forward to this.”
The acoustic set will feature a collaboration of the two bands, sans any bass or drums.
“This kind of show will offer us an opportunity to have more contact with the audience and a feel a closer connection,” Lisher said. “I love Philadelphia and getting to play in the general area is really good for us. I love the east coast and going out there.”
Lisher said that his band plays the city’s World Cafe venue every January as well.
Camper Van Beethoven’s music features many different elements of punk rock, ska and pop music, among others, while most people know Cracker for their famous song, “Low,” a US Billboard hit single back in 1994.
Loveless, the 23-year-old from Columbus, Ohio, will perform songs from her first three albums, as well as her new release, “Somewhere Else.”

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Mike Berman

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