Hurple Hoopla

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Southern Culture on the Skids - Countrypolitan Favorites

It seems like a "can't miss" prospect. Take a band like Southern Culture on the Skids and turn them loose on an album of cover songs. In the past, the band has proven, time after time, that they're wonderful at adapting the right cover material into the signature SCOTS sound. So, what happened with their first-ever full length album of nothing but covers? Maybe it's the choice of some of the material. Do we really need Mary Huff singing "Rose Garden?" Maybe it's that the band sometimes stick way too close to the original arrangement rather than adapt it to their own sound, as in The Kink's "Muswell Hillbilly." Also, quite a number of SCOTS fans say that Mary Huff, who has a wonderfully evocative, beautiful voice, does not get to sing anywhere near enough on their albums. But, does she really need to echo Rick Miller on, roughly, 75% of the vocals on the album? And, really, should she sing at all on the Creedence Clearwater Revival covers ("Tombstone Shadow" and "Fight Fire"), especially when Rick Miller can channel John Fogerty in both sound and style so perfectly?
Now, don't get me wrong, when the concept works, it's as great as anyone could imagine, like on "Funnel of Love," "Te Ni Nee Ni Nu," "Tobacco Road," and even the wonderful bluegrass take on "Happy Jack." However, on an album with 15 tracks, 4 standouts is not really a good batting average, especially from such a singular band as Southern Culture on the Skids.


  • First you critique SCOTS following the original songs too closely, and then you complain that Rick doesn't mimic Fogerty on the CCR songs? Stay on target, stay on target.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:32 PM  

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