A successful partnership with Alison Krauss + Union Station that resulted in the sale of more than 125,000 albums in just two months has executives at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store seeking out other artists for similar deals.
Next up will be Charlie Daniels, who has just inked a deal to issue an album exclusively at the Cracker Barrel restaurant/retail chain. The album, which does not yet have a title or release date, will feature patriotic music and versions of some of Daniels’ best-known songs, including “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” and “In America.”
Cracker Barrel is in advanced negotiations for a similar deal with an established female country star, and also talking to several other artists, including some in the Americana and folk genres.
VP of marketing Chris Tomasso calls Daniels “an American icon.” He notes that Daniels has not only had “a long and illustrious career and is very well-known,” but also says his continued “relevancy is obvious,” thanks to recent appearances at the Superbowl, where Daniels performed with Gretchen Wilson, and overseas, where he performed for U.S. troops.
Daniels records for his own Blue Hat Records label. His last studio album, 2003’s “Freedom and Justice For All,” has sold 41,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.
On May 10, the 529 Cracker Barrel stores in 41 states and crackerbarrel.com began selling the “Home on the Highways” CD from Krauss and her band for $11.99. Two months later, it has become the fastest-selling CD on the Cracker Barrel music label, which was launched in 2003. The CD features 11 band-selected favorite songs from previously-released albums, as well as eight minutes of bonus video footage, including a jam session and footage of the band members touring Cracker Barrel’s decor warehouse. Cracker Barrel is the sponsor of the group’s current tour.
Krauss and Union Station record for Rounder Records. Their most recent CD for that label, “Lonely Runs Both Ways,” has sold 625,000 copies since its release last November.