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Southern Culture on the Skids 

Mojo Box (Kudzu/Yep Roc)

All you need to know about Southern Culture on the Skids can be found at the band's website (www.scots.com). Just click on "Recipes." There you'll find dishes like "White Trash (fill in the blank)," various baloney concoctions, and the pièce de résistance: Tang Sandwiches (Wonder bread, marshmallow fluff, and dry Tang).

This is high-concept for Southern Culture. Poor white rural Southerners are people to ridicule. Hey, Rick, Mary, and Dave, you're not Jeff Foxworthy. It's one thing to do it with a microphone in your fist and the brick wall behind you; you three are merely attacking a straw man.

Mojo Box, the band's eighth CD, pretty much follows the pattern of its predecessors, with chunky, Duane Eddy-style guitar riffs, a bit of surf rock now and then, some swamp boogie, etc. There's no country influence, even if Southern Culture is a regular entry on many critics' top 10 country lists. But none of that is important. This is definitely an act in which buying into the concept equals an appreciation of the music. Yet the members of Southern Culture on the Skids, like those at whom they choose to poke fun, are more to be pitied than censured.

More by Steve Byrne

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