During Cracker's heyday in the 1990s, the Virginia-based band molded elements of alternative pop/rock and country into several irreverent, buzzworthy anthems. Singer/guitarist David Lowery made no attempt to mask his affinity for traditional roots music, but his own background was far from traditional, as he spent the '80s fronting the quirky alternative outfit Camper Van Beethoven. Shortly after Camper Van Beethoven embarked on a long hiatus in 1990, Lowery began demoing new material with guitarist Johnny Hickman and bassist Davey Faragher. The three musicians named the project Cracker (although several of those early demos would later surface under the title David Lowery Demo Mixes) and set up their headquarters in Richmond, Virginia. By 1991, the band had signed a recording contract with Virgin Records and enlisted the help of several drummers (Jim Keltner, Rick Jaeger, and Phil Jones), all of whom helped shape the sound of Cracker's debut album.