The Redneck Badge of Courage

Holy flyin' fried chicken! Comb out your best wig, whip up a batch of banana puddin' and practice your Camel Walk! SCOTS is comin' to town!

This finger-lickin' foursome, better known as Southern Culture on the Skids, has been dishing up its distinctive version of trailer-park twang since 1985. Based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, singer/guitarist Rick Miller, bassist Mary Huff, drummer Dave Hartman and the band's newest addition, keyboardist Cousin Crispy, play music that pays tribute to their Appalachian roots. White trash is king in their Southern-fried world of halter tops, mobile homes, girl fights, demolition derbies, Naugahyde, shotgun weddings and shag carpet.

Since being signed to the major label DGC in 1995, SCOTS has recorded and released two albums. The first, Dirt Track Date, provides a taste of their diverse musical range--a hat is tipped to the likes of rockabilly, funk, garage rock, hillbilly-tinged country and California surf instrumentals. It's like Link Wray meets The Cramps. Dirt Track Date also exposes the band's collective food fetish--lowbrow Southern delicacies like fried chicken, Little Debbie Snack Cakes and sweet tea loom large throughout.

Plastic Seat Sweat, released in 1997, picks up where Dirt Track Date left off. Recorded at Reflection Sound Studios in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1997, it remains true to the band's unique brand of white-trash gospel, but takes more chances. A veritable cornucopia of musical delights, this CD dishes up Martin Denny-esque sounds of exotica, belly-dancing instrumentals, and turbo-speed rockabilly riffs. The songs about Southern eats still abound, like "Carve That Possum," an Uncle Dave Macon classic, and "Banana Puddin'," which the band prefers to eat when it's "day old and bold."

Sure, their albums are great, but the best way to enjoy SCOTS is to see them live. The dedicated touring band has played more than 400 shows in the past two years and developed something of a cult following in the process. In fact, their live shows could easily qualify as performance art. Where else can you expect to be pelted with fried chicken and spoonfuls of banana pudding? For the fashion mavens in the crowd, bassist Mary Huff delivers the goods--the towering, stylishly coifed wigs she dons would make any truck-stop waitress envious. If the saying "the bigger the hair, the closer to God" were true, she would have been sainted by now.

So grab yourself an eight-piece box and head on over to Jackson Hole on October 30 to catch SCOTS live. It's an experience in white-trash culture that you won't soon forget. Just make sure to dodge the flyin' drumsticks.

--Kaytie Johnson

Southern Culture on the Skids is scheduled to perform on Friday, October 30, at Jackson Hole, 1 East Jackson. Showtime is 8 p.m.; Big Sandy and His Fly Rite Boys, and Neko Case share the 18-and-older bill. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 the day of the show. 257-0990, 503-5555.