The Southern Surreal continues in the direction that my favorite song on Cockadoodledon't began on: a bent towards Southern Gothic that manages to be earthy enough to avoid novelty. Songs like "Let the Dead (Bury the Dead)" meshes perfectly with the crooner "The One That Got Away" and the politically charged "MisAmerica." This is an album that needs to be experienced with a good old sit-and-listen, though I suspect you'd have a hard time sitting still during a live performance.
I don't know much about the Shack Shakers but I know the two albums I've heard sit at different ends of their career. In terms of energy and self-assurance, you'd never know they were made almost 12 years apart. As should be expected, the songs are tighter and leaner -- there's no resting on their laurels for these guys.
The Legendary Shack Shakers -- Official, Facebook, Purchase
*Why yes, ladies, I do go to the gym regularly and make up my own recipes. And I have great taste in music and I'm single.