Snake Preacher: Etowah River Mud

Martha’s Vineyard elitist Barack Obama notoriously put down denizens of rural middle America when he called ’em bitter clingers to guns and religion. He left out hooch. Snake Preacher’s here to remind him. The North Georgia Southern Rock band named their new album after the holy trinity, and with songs like “Buzzards,” “Cocaine Shoes,” “Shotgun Ridge” and the title track, Bible, Guns and Whiskey is a throwback to those ’70s years when redneck longhairs like Blackfoot, Hatchet and Skynyrd proudly defined the Southern way.

The thing about Southern Rock, though – you generally need seven or eight dudes to do it justice, what with all the requisite double and triple lead guitar battles, and if you can coax a few stray wives and/or girlfriends up there to holler out some “hootie hoos” and “yesweedoos” on backing vocals, well brother, that’s the prototype personified right there. Being a trio, however, Snake Preacher (John Barton on guitar and vocals, wife Stormy Barton on bass and Bryan Baker on drums and vocals) more closely resemble ZZ Top’s model, especially given the band’s thick, slithering, dirty guitar grooves, low-slung, growly vocals, blues/boogie foundation and crucial sense of humor. And ‘taint nothin’ wrong with that. It’s on streaming outlets now, with a run of CDs on the way.