It's not often that a band, after twenty years together, releases its best album; it's even less probable that said album would be a set of covers. But that's the case with Southern Culture on the Skids and last year's Countrypolitan Favorites. The Chapel Hill, North Carolina, country-crockers, surf-shlockers and camel-walkers finally play the twang straight but still spirited. Founder Rick Miller rifles through a staggering range of guitar styles and bouffant-belter Mary Huff simply sings the tar out of Nashville classics (Lynn Anderson's "Rose Garden"), country-rock nuggets (CCR's "Fight Fire") and even psychedelic excursions (T Rex's "Life's a Gas"). On stage, SCOTS still has hellbilly souls and buckets of fried chicken — and it's not afraid to use either.
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