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Southern Culture On The Skids

True to their name, North Carolina's Southern Culture on the Skids offers an affectionate parody of local white-trash trailer-park culture, matching their skewed outlook with a wild, careening brand of rock & roll. SCOTS' music is a quintessentially Southern-fried amalgam of rockabilly, boogie, country, blues, swamp pop, and chitlin circuit R&B, plus a liberal dose of California surf guitar, a hint of punk attitude, and the occasional mariachi horns. Following an early incarnation as a relatively straightforward roots rock outfit, they morphed into a raucous, sleazy, tongue-in-cheek party band obsessed with sex and food; in fact, fried chicken became a crucial part of their live performances, whether it was used in eating contests or tossed into the audience. Southern Culture may play chiefly to an underground rock audience, but their gonzo tributes to the South aren't as smug as some of their peers working similar territory, since the band has genuine roots in the area.

Southern Culture on the Skids was founded by guitarist/singer Rick Miller in the college town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in 1985. Growing up, Miller had split time between Henderson, North Carolina, where his father ran a mobile-home factory, and Southern California, where his mother lived, and where he first discovered surf and rockabilly. After earning a degree in art from the University of North Carolina, Miller started the first incarnation of Southern Culture on the Skids with original lead vocalist Stan Lewis, bassist Leslie Land, and drummer Chip Shelby. Lewis brought a distinct Cramps influence to the band, although their style was still much more subdued than it would later become. This quartet lineup released an EP called Voodoo Beach Party on the local indie label Lloyd Street, followed later in 1985 by an eponymous full-length debut.

As the band drifted more and more into country territory, co-founder Lewis split; two more members were added on accordion and pedal steel, but the band's new direction alienated much of its local following, and the first version of Southern Culture split not long after. In 1987, Miller regrouped with a new, smaller lineup featuring bassist and sometime vocalist Mary Huff and drummer Dave Hartman, both of whom had grown up together in Roanoke, Virginia. (Lewis, Land, and Shelby would later reunite as Stan Lewis & the Rockin' Revellers, and performed on a mostly local basis.) The new Southern Culture spent a few years honing their sound and releasing the very occasional single. Finally, in 1991, they returned to the LP format with Too Much Pork for Just One Fork, which was issued on the ill-fated Moist label. Too Much Pork established the group's lyrical obsessions, and featured the first recording of their fried-chicken anthem "Eight Piece Box," a concert favorite.

Southern Culture's next album, the rawer-sounding 1992's For Lovers Only, began to win them a wider following thanks to better distribution from the band's new label, Safe House. Among other fan favorites, it featured Huff's first major vocal showcase, a cover of the Jo Anna Neel country obscurity "Daddy Was a Preacher But Mama Was a Go-Go Girl." The half-live, half-studio EP Peckin' Party followed on Feedbag in 1993, as did the 10" Girlfight EP on Sympathy for the Record Industry. The more laid-back, country-flavored full-length Ditch Diggin' appeared on Safe House in 1994, featuring covers of the Louvin Brothers and Link Wray. In 1995, Geffen subsidiary DGC signed Southern Culture on the Skids to a major-label contract, which was consummated the following year with Dirt Track Date. Although Dirt Track Date included re-recordings of several of the band's most popular past songs, it received generally enthusiastic reviews and sold over a quarter of a million copies.

After releasing the Lucha Libre-themed EP Santo Swings! for Estrus Records (which included Spanish-language covers of "Scratch My Back" and "Double Shot of My Baby's Love"), SCOTS cut their second album for DGC, 1997's Plastic Seat Sweat, which featured the band's new keyboard player, Chris "Cousin Crispy" Bess. While Plastic Seat Sweat was a solid effort, its commercial reception disappointed both the band and their label, and it was to be the group's final major-label release. After a few years of steady touring, 2000's Liquored Up and Lacquered Down was released by TVT Records; the deal proved to be a one-off, and it would be four years before the band found a new recording home, with the North Carolina-based indie Yep Roc Records. SCOTS' Yep Roc debut, 2004's Mojo Box, was completed after the departure of Chris Bess, with the band back to the trio of Miller, Huff, and Hartman. Mojo Box was produced by Rick Miller in his new studio, Kudzu Ranch, where he also produced albums by the Fleshtones, Dexter Romweber, and the Woggles.

Southern Culture on the Skids released two more albums for Yep Roc, 2006's live set Doublewide and Live and the 2007 covers collection Countrypolitan Favorites, but split with the company to go fully independent and start their own label, Kudzu Records. SCOTS launched their new venture with the 2010 album The Kudzu Ranch, named for Miller's studio, and followed with reissues of the Too Much Pork album and the 1998 EP Zombified. In 2013, SCOTS released Dig This, a set offering new recordings of the songs from Ditch Diggin', minus the Link Wray and Louvin Brothers covers from the original release. The band also briefly reunited with Yep Roc for the multi-artist concept LP Mondo Zombie Boogaloo, which also featured new material from the Fleshtones and Los Straitjackets; the three bands set out on a joint tour in the fall of 2013 to promote the set. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

quahetus
day old and bold. i'm hungry now
Scots played twice at the Great Blue Heron Music Fest. the first time they played they were kicked out, does anybody remember that ?
leninabinet
Got that Plastic Seat Sweat!
OK, who hit me in the back of the head with that (chicken) drumstick?
Hooooo!
Can't stop shaking.
I want to be a world famous trucker and blast this s**t outta home-stereo speakers in my rig on my way home to my trailer, which has the title in pawn to get liquor and speed money!!!
Just saw them in South Cackalacky last year for the first time since seeing them open for Stan Ridgway back at the old 9:30 Club in DC back in the mid-80s. They still got it.
cheap motel is my favorite.Lov e the lyrics
Better than an Eight Piece Box! SCOTS are finger lickin' good!
rferebee2
Never mind the Beatles and the Stones, Southern Culture on the SKids is the world's greatest band!
jettaprinces a
Fun tunes!!
Just about my all time favorite band. They are even better live. Luckily they come through my neck of the woods with some regularity.
A GREAT band, if you haven't seen them live, you are really missing out. Great musicians and cool people. Really undderated American band. For movie credits and such check out http://en.wi k i p e d i a . o r g / w i k i / S o u t h e r n _ C u l t u r e _ o n _ t h e _ S k i d s
like this one
prettyclose
cbstalcup
I just love these guys. WOuld love to see em cme to california for a show or two.
You haven't lived til you've heard My Neighbor Burns Trash. Great band!
contour97
SCOTS played the Hardly Strictly in San Fran in October. Left the crowd screaming for more. Awesome!
you make me wanna walk...like a camel! o yea!
Where's "Dirt Track Date?"
reminds me of junior high. love these guys!!!!
SWEET!
always have been cool and one of my favorites
Jack the Ripper Parts I & II-- AWESOME!!
SCOTS voted favorite dance band at our 2010 New Years celebration, been listening more and more lately. Gotta love that surf guitar!
s142424
Awesome. They used to do a Thanksgiving night show every year in Mary and Dave's hometown. The best thing to do when you can't stand your relatives any more and you've slept off the turkey.
SCOTS' does not get the respect and credit they deserve. See them in concert one time and you will be a SCOTS' fan for life. When the chicken got tossed in the air during 8 pc box... I knew I was at the right place. They have been to G-Vegas a few times to play for a small showing and they played as if they were performing at a concert hall. SCOTS' needs to come to G-Vegas and perform when ECU students are in town.
Someone needs to organize a tour with DASH RIP ROCK. What a treat that would be!
voodoo999ste r
Have been seeing these guys since 1990 from NC to VA to MD to GA to LA to TX. And maybe some other places I can't remember :P If you have never seen them live, you are missing out big time. They need to add 'For Lovers Only' and the recently re-released 'Too Much Pork For Just one Fork.' Friggin classics.
They come to New Orleans about once a year, and I've seen them about 10 times. They're my favorite. and a GREAT live show.
j_norman16
This band is real fun and real good! For Lovers Only is my favorite album by these guys..get some..chicke n that is.
DARN TOOTIN
jeusewelling t o n
I love the song dance for me
saw them in concert in Chicago 1994. Have been a huge fan ever since. Enjoy the fried chicken.
Lame
jeremyntroy
You need material from them before 96'. Dirt Track Date should be included in your available selections.
I've seen them 2 times and had a blast. One of my faves!
Hauling down a country road in a beatup old pickup truck, windows down, and Southern Culture blaring on the stereo - O'yea a bottle of devil juice wrapped in a brown bag and the Law on your tail - half tank of gas and 35 miles to the state border.
I first saw these guys back in 1991 in a warehouse in Charlotte NC, I have been a fan every since! Definitely one of the best live bands!
i love you Mary.
It would be easy to overlook what's good music amid all the hillbilly schtick. They do put on a fun show. Poker in Front, Liquor in The Rear.....
No chicken no show. SCOTS is on of the best american rock n roll bands today
Dbl Wide Live is as a good a feel as one can get for the live energy these guys have. Nothing recorded comes close to the energy you get at one of their shows live!
gregorski
This group is a very good group to see live. Their songs are witty, eclectic, funny and make you want to move. Grab some friends and go see them. Get up close and get some chicken.
samstovall
Do NOT drive with Dirt Track Date crankin' really loud! it could be dangerous to your health
I LOVE SCOT!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! !
too much pork for just one fork
ya gotta carve that opossum - carve'em to the heart
Little Debbie Little Debbie! Yeah these guys kick a**, keepin surf guitar alive.
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