By Paul Moffett

"Yogi Barrow, let us walk into this barren desert in search of truth and some pointy boots and maybe a few snack crackers." – from "Walk Like a Camel."

The Thunderdome can be close to a barren concrete desert and the search was for seating, not truth, but all that counted for naught when Southern Culture on the Skids came to town to promote their new Geffen Records CD, Dirt Track Date, and spread a little of their gospel of the pleasures of poor white Southern living.

S.C.O.T.S. is A Band With a Concept and they execute it to perfection. Mining long-extant stereotypes about lazy, slovenly, poor white trash Southerners, S.C.O.T.S sends them completely over the top, while only occasionally revealing their genuine affection for their chosen subject.

Rick Miller struts for the Thunderdome crowd. Photo by Paul Moffett

Operating as a trio, guitarist Rick Miller, bassist Mary Huff and David Hartman on drums deliver a sound at least as full as ZZ Top. Miller, playing what looked like a Silvertone (actually Danelectro) guitar with the mother-of-toilet-seat inlay and dressed in the traditional bib overalls with one strap hanging loose, over a shirtless chest, orchestrated a near non-stop set of tunes, most from DTD. In fact, the only thing which gave the lie to their White Trashness was the energy and speed with which they played. No stereotypical hillbilly would ever work that hard.

Huff, dressed in a navy blue polka-dotted dress and Nike cross trainers, big hair threatening to come lose and crush some hapless fan below, handled the bass so well that Hartman did not require a bass drum in his kit and played the entire show standing up.

The rather large fellow who appeared first in drag and then in a WWW wrestling mask made for the high points of the show. Or maybe it was when Miller put a Kentucky Fried Chicken box on his head and played "Eight Piece Box."

Miller, who writes most of S.C.O.T.S material, has a knack for writing signature guitar riffs for his tunes, stuff that's playable by a single guitarist. Look for his tunes to crop up in various cover band repertoires.

The Silos, one of the opening acts, offered a loose, jangle-y, guitar-based set of tunes which suffered by comparison to S.C.O.T.S tightly written and crisply delivered material.

S.C.O.T.S has played clubs in Louisville many times over the years, but as with so many other bands, it takes a major record deal to get them the airplay needed to sell the record and draw the kind of audience they had at the Thunderdome on July 31. Agent Elaine Ford should be congratulated for her persistence in bringing this band to town.

She probably even made money. The band made all its fans happy, even those who had to get up and go to work the next morning.

"Baby, the way you eat that oatmeal pie just makes me wanna die."