EXCLUSIVE: David Lowery Breaks Out the Bantar for Acoustic Version of Cracker's 'Down the Coast'

Posted on November 13, 2013 | by David Knowles

David Lowery is tinkering again. 

The guitarist and singer for the bands Camper van Beethoven and Cracker is teaching himself how to play banjo, and has laid down a respectable first effort on an alternate version of the Cracker song “Down the Coast” ahead of a west coast tour.

“I was actually playing bantar,” Lowery said of the six-string, high strung guitar/banjo hybrid. “We recorded the track last week in Athens [Georgia] partly to try and come up with new song ideas.”

Lowery was taken with the sound of the instrument, and says he plans to use it on future recordings. Still, he hasn’t decided whether he’ll bring the bantar along for his upcoming December dates with both of his bands.

Camper and Cracker will make three stops in California—drifting down the coast from Petaluma’s Mystic Theater on December 27, San Francisco’s Independent on the 28th, and Solana Beach’s Belly Up on the 29th.

“We’ve done this California swing every year for the past 10 years now,” Lowery said. “It’s become a Christmas tradition.”

Meanwhile, as Lowery and Cracker lead guitarist Johnny Hickman continue to write new material for a new album, Camper Van Beethoven are nearly done with a follow up to 2013’sLa Costa Perdida(429 Records), which focused thematically on all things Northern Californian.

“We’re going to try to mix it in January, and get it out soon,” Lowery said. “It’s going to be the Southern California companion to La Costa Perdida.”

RELATED:Two Acoustic Songs by Guy Clark, Jr., on '12 Years a Slave' Soundtrack 

Receive lessons, songs, advice, and news like this straight to your inbox

Join the EXCLUSIVE: David Lowery Breaks Out the Bantar for Acoustic Version of Cracker's 'Down the Coast' discussion

Get all things acoustic guitar in your inbox with our free newsletters. Your E-mail: