With the Western Swing groove of Asleep at the Wheel, the passion of Reverend Horton Heat & the kitsch of TMBG or the B52’s, the North Carolina trio known as Southern Culture on the Skids (or SCOTS for short) romps through some fantastic classic & sometimes obscure country songs so well it makes you think, “this is how it should’ve sounded in the first place!” with a healthy peppering of psychedelic rock like the Who & CCR on their most recent release Countrypolitan Favorites.
I’m fairly new to SCOTS, having only heard a song or two from their older albums, but since I’ve been digging deeper into the Alt Country/Americana (whatever you want to call it) genre of American music I decided to purchase this album via iTunes. I was not disappointed. This is one of those records you can play on “random” all day long and still be grooving & singing along with Funnel of Love at the end of the day.
My brother’s father-in-law said it best when he noted that bands like this can only get away with being that silly and kitschy if they can back it up with some real talent. These guys can. The bass lines are downright funky which compliments the rockin’ guitar & piano solos. The arrangements are faithful enough to the originals, yet somehow inspired and oddly satisfying to non-country fans like myself.
Who would’ve thought I would ever be singing Oh Lonesome Me at the top of my lungs in my little blue Frontier pickup? Certainly not me.
Side note: I still refer to it as Alt.Country. I know it’s not the term du jour, but it’s what I know & love it as. I’ve been a Lyle Lovett fan forever, and I was a fan of Wilco & Son Volt back when they were called Uncle Tupelo & the radio stations had no idea how to categorize them. That was back before the genre had a name. I still claim to not really like country music, but I sure have a lot of its alternative counterparts in my cd collection!