Everyone needs a Southern Culture On The Skids record in their home. There ought to be a law. For the uninitiated, guitarist Rick Miller, bassist Mary Huff and drummer Dave Hartman play a unique mash up of country, soul, rockabilly and surf.
If you’re not quite there yet think of these characters as kinda like a trailer trash Creedence Clearwater Revival with white loafers and a wicked sense of humour. Like the SCOTS Wiki page states, they write and perform ‘songs about dancing, sex and fried chicken’.
If that makes them sound like a novelty act, the band’s jaw-slackening writin’ and riffin’ chops soon put pay to that notion.
For blues heads a good crack in the fence to crawl through into their back catalogue is the electrifying I Learned To Dance In Mississippi that resides on the band’s best record, 2000’s Liquored Up And Lacquered Down [hell, all of the band’s albums are essential but 95’s Dirt Track Date, 2004’s Mojo Box and 2010’s The Kudzu Ranch are personal favourites].
The song was inspired by a Saturday night Rick Miller, a walkin’ talkin’ encyclopaedia of classic American guitar licks, spent at blues Junior Kimbrough’s juke joint down in Holly Springs, Mississippi. As he testifies in the song: “I paid my two dollars to get in and I saw some dancin’ going on like I never seen before… in my whole life.”
It must’ve been one hell of a night given the horn-driven blast that propels I Learned To Dance In Mississippi’s four minutes and 48 seconds of juke joint levelling exuberance.
Ok… it’s not ‘straight blues’ but then SCOTS could never be indicted as playing straight anything. It might just get you hooked on one of the greatest, yet criminally underrated, bands ever. You can thank me later.
What’s on your mind tonite…?