South Filthy

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The brief liner notes on the band's debut album make no mystery about its cultural philosophy. South Filthy is a collaboration between musicians from two important centers of American music, Austin and…
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The brief liner notes on the band's debut album make no mystery about its cultural philosophy. South Filthy is a collaboration between musicians from two important centers of American music, Austin and Memphis. Furthermore, the process is part of an ongoing history of cultural exchange between the states of Texas and Louisiana. The fundamentalist preachers whose strongholds also stretch between these territories might wonder just what kind of culture is being exchanged by a band with a name like this one has, performing songs such as "Bad Girl" and "Spell of Big Tits." South Filthy, on the other hand, could simply be a cute way of describing where a particular album is located in any one of the bandmember's extensive collections of vintage rockabilly, country, blues, and soul sides.

The members of this aggregation are for the most part the sort of individuals whom residents of a given town may have seen year after year in any number of local bands. If not there, then rummaging through the used record pile with only a casual interest in the family budget. "When will that guy get into a band that will go somewhere?" might be a question whispered behind the back of Mike Buck, who has drummed for the Fabulous Thunderbirds, the LeRoi Brothers, and the Texas Tornados, just to name a few. The depth of his background in terms of musical knowledge, a typical factor among the members of this group from either city, is the source of a special resonance regardless of the outcome concerning the long range career of South Filthy.

"Trash culture" might be one way of describing the archival interest of players such as Buck, harmonica blower Walter Daniels, or the Memphian Jack Yarber. This image results more from the way rock bands are advertised, especially the choice of graphics. On the group's debut CD in 2002 this even included a mug shot of the horrifying Jeb Bush. In reality what the group celebrates is a view of American music that is free from prejudice, which is more than can be said for either Texas or Louisiana in general. When Buck Owens and Howlin' Wolf can groove side by side it must be surmised that an individual has risen above their social environment. Such as Tex & the Horseheads, whose former lead singer Texacala Jones also guests on the South Filthy recordings and will hopefully continue her involvement with the band.