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Southern Culture On The Skids – Doublewide and Live

I suppose that I was given Doublewide and Live to review as a result of accent-ism. It’s kind of like racism, except you are judged by how you pronounce your A’s and R’s as apposed to the color of your skin. My speech patterns exhibit qualities most closely related with what is known as “Virginia Piedmont,” which to most ears, is less abrasive than that of my Appalachian brethren. This is the accent that was passed down to me by my Scottish and Irish ancestors who tilled the soil in the oppressive heat and humidity of North Carolina summers. Southern Culture on the Skids, is a band who hails from this region, and recorded their live album in a city very close to my heart, Chapel Hill, also known as “The Southern Part of Heaven,” or “The People’s Republic of Chapel Hill,” to more conservative southerners.


Taking the previous information into consideration, I suppose I might be one of the few people in the Metro Denver area willing to give Doublewide and Live a fair shake. However, to do this, I had to relax and return to my pre-Denver mindset. The first step was to focus on Rick Miller’s guitar work. We southerners love a good wailing guitar, and for reference you can listen to the works of Lynyrd Skynyrd or the Allman Brothers. Mr. Miller’s stellar guitar work combines the southern qualities of these bands with the surf music of Dick Dale and The Ventures. It may seem like an odd combination until you consider the mutual love of a strong guitar, and I would encourage the fans of either genre to check out Southern Culture on the Skids for a new listening experience. Besides, Miller’s picking is some of the finest I’ve heard since the decline of the guitar god.

Though the recording is less than perfect, the energy of the band is on display from beginning to end. The joy the band derives from performance is infectious, and I defy you to dislike a song entitled “Banana Pudding” (pronounced pUH-Din). “Meximelt,” is a seven minute orgy of surf instrumental that puts Miller’s chops on display as well as those of bassist Mary Huff (who looks like she belongs in the B-52’s) and drummer Dave Hartman.

I think that SCOTS could find a following in Denver’s large rock-a-billy culture and people who just enjoy some serious guitar shredding. Though, you may have to ignore the fact that all the vocals are done in a “Highland Southern” accent. Now, having connected with my roots, I must go fix my faux-hawk properly and listen to Dashboard Confessional.


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