On the Road

Cracker Barrel Is iTunes for Old People

If you have been paying attention to obscure press releases, you would know by now that Cracker Barrel, that folksy restaurant chain with all the rocking chairs out front that your grandparents love, is now a music retailer to boot.

Yes, in addition to all those cool wooden toys and puppets, you can pick up new slabs from Dolly Parton, Ronnie "Where's Brooks?" Dunn, Kenny Rogers, Wynonna and many others. It's a novel idea, since you do have a captive audience who can be lulled into buying almost anything after a food coma.

Dunn's new self-titled solo effort also got the special edition-treatment, with Barrel customers getting treated to two previously unreleased cuts when they buy the disc after they get their fill of biscuits and butter-covered errything. Oh man, this is the place that gives you those tiny bottles of maple syrup too, huh?

The Barrel even has its own online radio station playing all the hits from the discs they are selling, ranging from "country, gospel, bluegrass and R&B." I never thought of Cracker Barrel as a real rhythm-and-blues-type place, but then again I may have been going to the wrong Cracker Barrels. Granted, the only R&B they are offering is Smokey Robinson for now, but it's not like I should have expected Charles Bradley or something.

Older folks and the country set are more inclined to buy physical copies of tunes from their favorite artists, since downloading can mean dangerous viruses, porn galore and liberal overlords seizing your computer to campaign for Barack Obama.

It's a win-win for everyone. Rock candy and the new Oak Ridge Boys album.

Frankly, I think Cracker Barrel uses too much tomato sauce in their meatloaf. I like mine with ketchup on top of it, not Ragú or whatever the hell.

I will give them credit for being the only place that has been nice enough to let my grandmother steal as many packets of honey butter as she wanted, since she's a widow and her children are trying to steal all of her money and leave her in the poorhouse like some sort of animal.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty