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Countrypolitan Favorites

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Album Review

When a veteran band follows up a live album with a collection of covers, it's hard not to wonder if they're running short on ideas, but while Southern Culture on the Skids may not be generating much in the way of new material, 2007's Countrypolitan Favorites shows they're still playing (and singing) up a storm. Featuring 15 tunes associated with other artists, Countrypolitan Favorites belies its own title with the diverse variety of material on board; no one familiar with SCOTS's tongue-in-cheek hillbilly shtick will be surprised by the covers of "Oh Lonesome Me," "Wolverton Mountain" or "Tobacco Road," but the group also reveals some unexpected influences on this set. Rick Miller and Mary Huff offer some lovely languid harmonies on the T. Rex classic " "Life's a Gas," the band delivers the Kinks' "Muswell Hillbilly" with a potent blend of twang and soulful respect, and Miller's typically superb guitar work shines on a reverb-soaked interpretation of the Byrds' "Have You Seen Her Face." SCOTS's gift for navigating swampy grooves is also on display on their versions of "Te Ni Nee Ni Nu" and "Funnel of Love," and it's hard to believe it has taken them this long to get around to recording George Jones' paean to the joys of mate swapping, "Let's Invite Them Over." As always, Rick Miller is a firebrand guitarist with chops, taste and a sense of humor, and Mary Huff and Dave Hartman are a killer, no-nonsense rhythm section, while Miller's production injects just the right amount of pop-friendly intelligence when it's needed. A few new songs would have been a nice addition to Countrypolitan Favorites, but there's no arguing that Southern Culture on the Skids know how to pick a song that works for them, and this album is a hoot for anyone who has embraced their Dixie-fried aesthetic.


Formed: 1985 in Chapel Hill, NC

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

True to their name, North Carolina's Southern Culture on the Skids offers an affectionate parody of local white-trash trailer-park culture, matching their skewed outlook with a wild, careening brand of rock & roll. SCOTS' music is a quintessentially Southern-fried amalgam of rockabilly, boogie, country, blues, swamp pop, and chitlin circuit R&B, plus a liberal dose of California surf guitar, a hint of punk attitude, and the occasional mariachi horns. Following an early incarnation as a relatively...
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Countrypolitan Favorites, Southern Culture On the Skids
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