by Joseph Scott
I hate ukuleles. You see, as a mandolin player many has been the time when I have had the poorly-informed but well-intentioned praise me for my ukulele playing. SO it was with great foreboding that I watched the quirky “ukabilly” duo Mad Tea Party take the stage in support of Southern Culture on the Skids last friday november seven.
But you know what? It was good. Damn good. Comprised of Ami Worthen on electric uke and Jason Krekel on vocals, juke-joint guitar, fiddle, and foot percussion, the duo manages to sound like a lot more than a duo. Whether bashing out ironic originals about growing up in the 80s or rockabilly classics like John Lee Hooker’s “Boogie Children” or Hasil Adkin’s “Chicken Walk”, Mad Tea Party gave their audience a rollicking forty minute set that made us all glad we had arrived early. I never got any tea though.
But then it was time for the main event. Southern Culture on the Skids hit the ground running with their surf guitar classic, “Skull Bucket”. That was followed by bassist Mary Huff’s rendition of the Wanda Jackson classic “Funnel of Love”, and the show was off to a exhilarating start. Guitarist Rick Miller joined Mary for a duet of “Let’s Invite Them Over”, George Jones and Melba Montgomery’s ode to spouse swapping. The band rolled through there tongue-in-cheek classics, “Liquered Up and Lacquered Down”, “Cheap Hotel”, “Eight Piece Box” and of course, “Camelwalk”. The highlight though was saved for last; after the standard SCOTS-crowd curtain call of “We want chicken” brought the band back to the stage, they closed an already impressive show with the Louvin Brothers Cold War call to the alter “The Great Atomic Power”. A fitting end to a gloriously irreverent evening.