Southern Culture on the Skids – Doublewide and Live

Southern Culture on the Skids
Doublewide and Live

I had the pleasure of seeing Southern Culture on the Skids, known to fans as SCOTS, play live a few years back. The trio’s live show was a mixture of hilarious get-ups, white-trash shtick, and some of the best rockabilly, surf, and swamp-rock I had heard in a long time. The group was so much fun in concert that I never checked out one of SCOTS’ albums, since great live performers often aren’t as awesome on a recording. However, when Southern Culture on the Skids’ latest disc, Doublewide and Live, crossed my path, I had to give it a shot.

Doublewide and Live was recorded at Chapel Hill, North Carolina’s Local 506. The band is from NC and has a long history with Local 506, a small bar the group has been playing since the early days when the members still had day jobs. It sounds like any town or city’s great dive-bar equivalent: small, dirty, smoky, reeking of beer, and one of the best places to see your favorite band. Southern Culture on the Skids made a great choice in recording a live album here because it just fits the band and its history so well. The members captured a definite hometown advantage, and the band ended up playing three consecutive shows with different set lists each night. The result is an album that showcases some of the best songs SCOTS has to offer with the added benefit of energy that is nearly palpable.

With 16 tracks on Doublewide and Live, there is no way Southern Culture on the Skids included everyone’s favorites. However, these guys do offer a decent range of material with something included from each of the group’s studio albums, all the way back to 1991’s Too Much Pork and the most recent disc, Mojo Box. The songs here boast a wide range of musical styles – from the outstanding Dick Dale-esque surf-rock of “Meximelt” to the rollicking Southern rock of “Come and Get It.” If it’s anything in between rock and country, then SCOTS seems to touch on it in one way or another on Doublewide and Live. If songs like “Whole Lotta Things” and “Hittin on Nothin” can’t get you on the dance floor, then I’m not sure anything could or would.

Doublewide and Live is unquestionably the next best thing to seeing Southern Culture on the Skids play live – a statement that is easy to make about a live album, but one that doesn’t often hold true. SCOTS have captured all the fun and energy of its performances. Those quick to dismiss this group as a novelty act have only to listen to this album to hear just how great these musicians are. Sure, the members clown on their own Southern culture, with topics ranging from big hair and mullets to muscle cars and drinking, but being able to laugh at yourself doesn’t mean this isn’t one of the tightest bands around. Hardcore fans should definitely check out the deluxe version of Doublewide and Live which includes three bonus tracks, live footage, and special packaging.