Too Much Pork For Just One Fork

Devin Grant

Ask 12 Southerners what rock band best encapsulates the definition of Southern rock, and you're likely to get a dozen different answers. The Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Marshall Tucker Band, Drivin 'N' Cryin', ZZ Top, Molly Hatchet, and Blackfoot are just some of the bands that immediately come to my mind. I'd like to add another, possibly lesser-known band to the discussion. The first time I heard the music of Southern Culture on the Skids, or SCOTS as the band is affectionately known, was while working at 96 Wave. The station started playing "Voodoo Cadillac," the first single off the North Carolina band's 1995 album Dirt Track Date. The fuzzy guitar, reminiscent of Creedence Clearwater Revival (a band that sounded Southern, but which was actually from California), hooked me immediately. Dirt Track Date, which features great songs such as "Soul City," 8-Piece Box," "Camel Walk," "Nitty Gritty," and "Whole Lotta Things," remains my favorite SCOTS album (you never forget your first), but they have an extensive catalog that goes in and out of print, depending on the label. 



The band will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year, and although they may not be as huge as Skynyrd or the Allmans, they are loved across the South and beyond, largely thanks to the band's incredibly fun live shows. Guitarist and singer Rick Miller, bassist and singer Mary Huff, and drummer Dave Hartman make white trash fashion and Southern twang an art form.


Rick Miller


Mary Huff


Dave Hartman


The band describes their sound on their website as "toe-sucking geek rock—kinda weird, but it feels good while you're doing it."


Last Saturday night at The Pour House the band played two rollicking sets of its signature sound to a packed house. I hadn't seen them in a few years, so I was ready for my SCOTS fix. Miller and Huff traded off singing duties on songs such as "Voodoo Cadillac," "My Baby's Got the Strangest Ways," "Liquored Up and Laquered Down," "Dance For Me," and "My House Has Wheels," while Hartman stood at his drum kit and kept time.
Joining SCOTS onstage Saturday night was a fairly large fellow who came armed with maracas and a tambourine. He spent the entire show shaking said instruments (and most of his body) while peering heavenward with a look of pure nirvana on his face. I never was able to figure out who he was. There was also a member of the audience, an attractive woman clad in a bustier, who was invited onstage several times by Huff to dance.
It was great seeing the band again, and it's also great to see that even after nearly 30 years of doing their own thing, the members of SCOTS are still up for an evening of fun. They visit Charleston fairly frequently, so check them out the next time they're in town if you've never had the pleasure. I suggest a dinner beforehand of fried chicken, snack crackers, and of course, banana puddin'.