Southern Culture On The Skids

Southern Culture On The Skids Dig ThisRick Miller from Southern Culture On The Skids talks about the original Kudzu Ranch, being a DIY band, and getting inspired by a septic tank. He also sets up and plays three tracks from the band’s latest album, Dig This!

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Rotation 393

  • Let it Rain / Pierce Edens And The Dirty Work / Live / 4:58
  • Shake It Little Sugaree / Rick Shea / Sweet Bernardine / 4:35
  • Make It Through the Night / Eric Lambert And Friends / Maiden Voyage / 3:58
  • Stripes / Brandy Clark / 12 Stories / 3:16
  • Dancin’ To A Pack Of Lies / Pat Todd & The Rankoutsiders / 14th & Nowhere / 3:58
  • Younger Years / Casey James Prestwood And The Burning Angels / Honky Tonk Bastard World / 4:29
  • Roadrunner / D.B. Rielly / Cross My Heart + Hope to Die / 3:22
  • Valentine’s Day / Wild Ponies / Things That Used to Shine / 3:08

Southern Culture On The Skids Info

preview Dig This!

Southern Culture On The Skids web site

Rick Miller Interview Recap

Rick Miller from Southern Culture On The Skids talks about the inspiration for their new album, Dig This!. He says, “I had some issues with my septic tank and I was digging some ditches. I needed some irrigation and water and soil conservation. I was digging a new ditch. And we had been thinking about [the album] Ditch Digging for a while and we needed to re-recorded it and that was the inspiration to get on it and get it done. And I thought, ‘wow, dig this.’”

Rick Miller talks about the songs on Dig This! Basically he says that the album is new recordings of all the songs on the original Ditch Digging album. He says, “It’s basically, Ditch Digging, the album, kind of souped up and revved up ala 2013.” He goes on to say that he didn’t have the discipline to go back and listen to the original versions of the songs the way Southern Culture On The Skids originally did them. So they just redid them form beginning. He says, “Lordy Lordy, we gave a psychedelic outro, kind of a Birdsy 12-string thing. We pumped up ‘Too Much Pork For Just One Fork.’ We fleshed out a couple of the country tunes ‘My House Has Wheels’ with some pedal steel. All the instrumentals got psychedelicized. We just brought the A game to it. I really like the way it turned out.”

Rick Miller sets up “Ditch Digging.” He says “It’s pretty long. It’s got a great groove.”

[Calvin plays "Ditch Digging" from Dig This! by Southern Culture On The Skids.]

Rick Miller talks about Southern Culture On The Skids’ songs being 20 years old. He says, “That was one of the funnest things about doing this. The original record came out twenty years ago. This year was the band’s 30th year anniversary. Dave and Mary came on the band in ’87 and ’88 and nothing’s changed since then.”

Rick Miller talks about combining southern rock and surf guitar and the evolution of the Southern Culture On The Skids sound. He says, “When we first started out we were much more of a Cramps sort of punk thing. Then we morphed into a country thing. We started playing with a guy named Michael Kelsh who was laying lap steel. We got more into a country thing and lost all out fans. And we started playing coffee shops. When Chip quit and Michael moved on, Mary and Dave joined. We basically just rented a house out in the country and that was the first Kudzu ranch and that’s when we really getting our thing together with the surf guitar and southern rock and that’s where Too Much Pork For Just One Fork the album came from. Actually the house was right across the street from Southern Village [just south of Chapel Hill.]“.

Rick talks about the first Kudzu Ranch. He says, “We used to rehearse in the basement. It had a dirt floor. We’d run an extension cord down from the kitchen. We’d just put carpet down. It got really mildewed and nasty and we’d get shocked all the time. Every couple of months we’d get this invasion of these things we called mealy bugs. There’d be thousands and thousands of them all mating on the floor. So while we were rehearsing it sounded like you were walking on bags of Fritos corn chips.”

Rick Miller sets up “The Little Things.” He says, “It’s just our domestic mode about some of the ups and downs of being in a relationship.]

[Calvin plays "The Little Things" from Dig This! by Southern Culture On The Skids.]

Rick Miller talks about the latest incarnation of Kudzu Ranch. He says, “We just did a record with John Howie Jr and the Rosewood Bluff and a record with the Dex Romweber Duo. Both those records turned out really well. Calvin asks Rick is he likes being the engineer and being on that side of things. He says, “I do actually. It’s fun. Sometimes you want to get out there and say ‘do it like this.’” He talks about the fact that everyone in the band is self-taught. He says, ” You know we were always a DIY band and I think that’s why we stuck together so long because any mistakes we made originated from us, not management or an engineer or a producers. We were always recording our own demo tapes back in the days when we used to send cassette tapes out When we got signed from Geffen we took a few thousand dollars from our advance which wasn’t much. We went over to the Music Loft and bought TASCAM 8 track and a Mackie board and a couple of mics. Basically we cut the demos for Dirt Track Date in the second incarnation of Kudzu Ranch. It was an old gas station out on Highway 54, which is now tagged and all the windows and doors are gone. The second song we ever cut in that garage on that TASCAM 8 track deck is on the sound track of Flirting With Disaster. It’s called ‘Red Beans and Reverb.’ So that’s where the recording thing bit hit really. I said, ‘you know I think I might be able to do this.’”

Rick Miller sets up “My House Has Wheels.” He says “Half my life has been spent in a van. My Dad built mobile homes. My wife wants an R.V. So this song touches all the corners of the baseball diamond of my life.”

[Calvin plays "My House Has Wheels" from Dig This! by Southern Culture On The Skids.]

Calvin and Rick talk about the rumor that Southern Culture On The Skids is going to make a Slim Whitman cover album. He says, “Well, no, but there’s something out Slim Whitman that’s just plain strange. They guy can yodel like nobody’s business . What a great voice. But he never opens his mouth. How does he do that?”

Rick Miller talks about the recent karaoke contest that Southern Culture On The Skids sponsored. “If you bought the record, you could download all the instrumental/karaoke tracks for the songs on the record. And we just said hey, pick one and do a karaoke to it and send it in. A couple from Roanoke Virginia did “Put Your Teeth Up On The Window Sill” and they were newlyweds! They came down to the show we did for New Years’ in Raleigh at the Southland Ballroom and they performed it on stage while we backed them and it was great. We presented them with a Ukelele. Some fans painted it and sent it to us.”

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The Americana Music Show is podsafe and copyright 2013 by Taproot Media. The music and interviews in this episode are used with permission of the artists.

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