Southern Culture On The Skids – Tickets – Rams Head On Stage – Annapolis, MD – May 16th, 2013

Southern Culture On The Skids

Southern Culture On The Skids

Toby Walker

Thu, May 16, 2013

8:00 pm

Rams Head On Stage

Annapolis, MD


This event is 21 and over

Southern Culture On The Skids
Southern Culture On The Skids
Southern Culture On The Skids' newest album, The Electric Pinecones, was released on September 16, 2016. It's the band’s fifth album on their own label, Kudzu Records. The album features 12 original SCOTS tunes — 11 brand new songs and a whole-lotta NOLA remake of the SCOTS classic, “Swamp Fox - The Original.” All the tunes were produced and recorded at Rick’s studio in NC, The Kudzu Ranch.

The Electric Pinecones is a bit of a departure for the band conceptually and sonically. The inspiration for the record was born in an alter-ego side project from the early years of the band. “The Pinecones was folk-a-hill-a-billy garage band we used to put together just for kicks,” Miller relates. “We loved the sound of '60s west coast folk rock and psych bands. The Pinecones was our outlet for material that was not in the SCOTS vein. We even opened for ourselves occasionally. The Pinecones set list was the jumping off point for this latest collection of songs.”

The first single off the album, “Grey Skies,” is a minor key mood piece with that folk-a-billy, psychedelic sound. Listen to how the acoustic 12-string riff slides into the band’s hypnotic rhythms that propel Mary Huff’s reflective vocal into the mind’s eye of times past and love lost. “Check out the Mellotron on the chorus – that is a first for us,” Miller says.

The lead off track, “Freak Flag,” is more upbeat, but no less tweaked, with modulating guitars riding on pounding drums after the first verse. The song’s message is a good one – it is okay to be different and always respect yourself. The band debuted the song to an auditorium full of rowdy students at Carrboro Elementary School. “I was nervous,” Miller says “if the kids don’t like something they let you know, but when they started singing along with the second chorus and waving their imaginary freak flags in the air, I knew it was a hit!”

“Dirt Road” is Mary’s three-minute ode to séances, thunderstorms and good lovin’ long gone. The song is a backwoods southern gothic ghost story that opens with a big tom fill then twists and turns around a folky strum and a fuzz guitar. Mary’s spooky-good vocal takes it down that dirt road way back into the piney woods.

The album also has some country rock songs that highlight the melodic side of SCOTS, with “Baby I Like You,” “I Ain’t Gonna Hang Around” and “Given To Me” featuring some of the best harmonies Rick and Mary have ever recorded.

“Waiting On You” is the longest song on the album, coming in at 4:22; it’s a folk-garage-rocker with a sing-a-long chorus that segues into a surf raga breakdown before heading back to the big riff and out.

The album has traditional Southern Culture flavor too. Check out the remake of “Swamp Fox – The Original”. This take goes back to the beginnings of the song and is much closer to capturing the essence of the many all-nighters the band pulled in NOLA with friends and colleagues. The country funk of “Rice and Beans,” is a good humored tale of a cash strapped southern courtship, and “Midnight Caller” is Mary’s slinky R’n’B flavored woman-to-woman warning about bad men looking for good times.

Song for song, on The Electric Pinecones, Southern Culture On The Skids continues to blow minds and blur the lines between genres delivering a stellar album. From their 1985 debut Voodoo Beach Party, to their 1995 international smash, Dirt Track Date (featuring the hit single "Camel Walk"), and now to the SCOTS-ified tunes of The Electric Pinecones, 30+ years, 200+ songs and 1,000,000+ road miles in, Southern Culture On The Skids just continues to get better with time.
Toby Walker
Toby Walker
Toby Walker is a fingerstyle guitar virtuoso, especially adept at blues, rags and hot country picking. He is also a skilled singer and songwriter who draws inspiration from traditional and contemporary music, having learned directly from blues masters Eugene Powell, James “Son” Thomas, Etta Baker and R. L. Burnside, among others. He has turned that journey into a multi-media show, How I Got the Blues. Through humorous stories and soul-stirring songs accompanied by a slide show, Toby Walker escorts you through the Deep South, where he learned songs and licks from the old time musicians who laid the foundation for the Blues as we know it today. Meet Etta Baker, who at 80 years of age not only was still a master of fingerpicking guitar but had just finished shingling the roof of her house!! Next up is 68-year-old James “Son” Thomas, who, despite a recent gunshot wound, was entertaining two girlfriends, both less than half his age! They are a sampling of the musicians who Toby tracked down, learned from and now brings to life in this show. Throughout the evening, Toby uses a variety of instruments, including a one string diddley bow, National Steel guitars, harmonicas and even a cigar box guitar.

Toby has taken that musical foundation and created something uniquely his own. His multiple instructional videos with Homespun are amongst their top sellers and he is an instructor at Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch and Swannanoa’s Guitar Week. He has been eagerly received in concert halls, festivals and coffeehouses throughout the U.S., England and Europe. He is looking forward to this Rams Head show, which will be his first back in the USA after a month in Cyprus, the British Isles, Germany and Austria.

“...he’s so versatile that it would something of an insult to peg the man as strictly a blues guitarist, because he’s so much more than that. To be certain, the spirit of bluesmen like Barbecue Bob and Scrapper Blackwell inhabit his soul, but they fight for equal space with the eclecticism of Leo Kottke, the jazzy sensibilities of Charlie Christian and the rootsy styling of Doc Watson.” Terry Mullin, Blues Blast magazine
Venue Information:
Rams Head On Stage
33 West St.
Annapolis, MD, 21401

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