Cheese and Kracker

Back home in Michigan, way before he nailed Pam Anderson, Kid Rock had a tatt-spangled stooge — lackey, flunky, bitch — (you get the idea) in Uncle Kracker. His first major-label release, 2000's Double Wide, did little to change that image, but his second, with its tone-deaf rendition of Dobie Gray's "Drift Away," showed some promise. Third time's a charm, though, as Kracker (a.k.a. Matt Shafer) proves with his latest, 72 and Sunny, which sheds any last vestiges of rockness. Unfortunately, the guy hasn't figured out what his own sound is and, consequently, slips and slides willy-nilly among genres: Motown, rock, blues, and Wal-Mart country. Kracker's affiliation with Nashville punching bag Kenny Chesney is probably the most glaring example of what separates him from Kid these days: While his mentor is off hanging with Bocephus, obsessing over the outlaw country of the '70s, Kracker is spending time with the country equivalent of Jimmy Buffet.

Uncle Kracker plays at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, January 28, at the South Florida Fair, 9067 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach. The show is free with fair admission: $15 for adults, $8 for children, $9 for seniors. For advance tickets, call 561-790-5245.

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Cole Haddon