Southern Culture on the Skids

Doublewide and Live

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While Southern Culture on the Skids have been making good-to-great records since 1991's Too Much Pork for Just One Fork, their real strength has always been as a live act, and anyone who has seen them on-stage knows a typical SCOTS show is a sweat-soaked frenzy of roaring guitars, pounding drums, manic dancing, and fried chicken flying through the air. A live Southern Culture show is also where guitarist and singer Rick Miller really pulls out the stops and demonstrates why he's one of the most underrated trash-rock guitarists walking the Earth, calling up the shades of Link Wray, Dick Dale, and Carl Perkins without batting an eye, and thankfully the band has finally taken the trouble of putting one of their gigs on sound-bearing plastic for public consumption with the album Doublewide and Live. Recorded before an audibly enthusiastic crowd at Local 506 in their hometown of Chapel Hill, NC, Doublewide and Live doesn't add anything new to the band's repertoire, but it does present 16 tunes from the SCOTS songbook with the high-impact energy of their live show intact, and in this case it really does make a difference. Miller's guitar work has rarely sounded this feral on record before, Mary Huff and Dave Hartman are a tight and hard-groovin' rhythm section throughout, and on extended workouts like "Ditch Diggin'," "Banana Pudding," and "Meximelt," you can practically hear the sweat pour off the band and its audience. Given their upfront sense of humor and fascination with White Trash culture, more than a few people have pegged Southern Culture on the Skids as a "joke band," but on-stage they're as passionate, dedicated, and hard-working as any band you're likely to see, and that fire has finally been harnessed on a CD with Doublewide and Live -- longtime fans will love it, and doubters will find out what they've been missing for the past 15 years.

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