Southern Culture on the Skids

Southern Culture on the Skids' annual two-night Continental stand is becoming a local rite of spring that would make Igor Stravinsky proud. The late Russian composer knew a thing or two about tapping into peasant rituals and indigenous folk music, after all, and so does the chicken-pickin' Chapel Hill, North Carolina, trio. Approaching their 20th year of trailer-park philosophy and tour-van togetherness, Rick Miller (vocals/guitar), Mary Huff (vocals/bass) and Dave Hartman (drums/percussion) have cultivated a loyal Houston fanbase that always gives the T-shirt stand land-office business no matter how much SCOTS swag they've already got in their closets (and often on their bodies). Absent a new album, the trio is still coasting along on 2007's Countrypolitan Favorites!, a double-length, double-­barreled set that veers from deadly serious (Claude King's "Wolverton Mountain"; ex-Byrd Gene Clark's "No Longer a Sweetheart of Mine") to freewheeling fun (T.Rex's "Life's a Gas"; a banjo-addled rendition of the Who's "Happy Jack") without pausing for breath. Fuel up on fried chicken and gasoline, do the camel walk down to Main Street and get ready for Huff's lights-out version of JoAnna Neel's "Daddy Was a Preacher, Mama Was a Go-Go Girl," which will make even the saintliest citizen shake it like the ballet corps in Rite of Spring.


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