Originally created 01/23/04

Rhodes: Biscuits mix fun with good show

Don't expect the Black Bottom Biscuits country/bluegrass band to get serious about its music.

Oh, the four guys from Columbia are serious about putting on a good show and serious about making good music, but they prefer to be funny with their original compositions.

In Moonshiner's Daughter, the title song of their first independent album, the chorus goes: "My first girlfriend was a moonshiner's daughter. She wasn't pretty, but I loved her still."

Their Web site, blackbottombiscuits.com, explains some other songs on the CD this way:

  • The Double-wide Love Left Behind: "One of those bad things happening to good people kinda stories about a fellow whose trailer gets repossessed, leaving him with his hound dog, an old truck and a porch in the yard."
  • The Cat, This Dog and Me: "A story about being alone at Christmas in a house with no power, with just an old cat and a young puppy for company, and it's not sad song!"
  • Way-Gone Daddy: "'50s rockabilly-type number about a rambling ladies' man."
  • The band members are Arnie Jones, 37, who has a specialty clothing-making business with his wife; his brother, Darryl Jones, 34, a Clemson University graduate who works for the South Carolina Forestry Commission; J.D. Holt, 35, a facilities management employee of Blue Cross/Blue Shield; and Van Abernathy, 34, an electrician.

    They grew up in Sumter, S.C., and just happened to all end up in Columbia, where they formed Black Bottom Biscuits two years ago.

    It was the Jones boys' childhood memories of how their mother overcooked her biscuits that inspired the name, suggested by Darryl's wife, Sharon.

    They made their Augusta debut in August at the Stillwater Tap Room on Broad Street.

    "The Augusta music scene seems to be so much better than Columbia's," Darryl Jones said in a telephone call. "Our first time in Augusta was great. We didn't know what to expect, but we had a huge crowd of about 300 to 400 people. We made a lot new Biscuitheads."

    That, of course, is what followers of the Black Bottom Biscuits call themselves.

    The band will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, for an Aiken Women's Club fund-raiser in the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 124 Newberry St., Aiken. Tickets are $15. Call (803) 648-1438. The band returns to Stillwater on Feb. 27 and April 9.

    Mr. Jones said the band's music has hardcore country, bluegrass, hard rock, Tex-Mex country and rockabilly influences.

    "My brother calls it redneck-abilly," he added. "We have done some straight bluegrass music sets, but we haven't done a straight bluegrass festival yet."

    Besides the smell of burnt biscuits, their mother also infused the Jones boys' childhood with lots of Elvis Presley music. The band now does two Presley songs, Little Sister and That's All Right, Mama, in bluegrass style.

    "Mom never met Elvis, but I remember well the day Elvis died," Mr. Jones said. "We were at my parents' lake house, and my mom cried all that day."

    Don Rhodes has written about country music for 33 years. He can be reached at (706) 823-3214 or at don.Rhodes@morris.com.


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