Unlike the majority of bands in the bustling local crusty swamp-punk movement, the boys from Coon Doggin Outlaws actually reside near a marshland. That would be their hometown, the mucky grounds of Okeechobee, Florida. The trio's distance from South Florida proper hasn't deterred it from the joining the ranks of other like-minded punkabilly revivalist bands such as Viva la Vox, Loxahatchee Sinners Union, and Everymen. But is there enough room on our shores for yet another outlaw-county-flavored punk-rock act?
Frontman and guitarist Top Coon Dog, AKA Anton Lauter, believes so. "It's funny, I didn't even realize that punkabilly-ish bands existed in South Florida until we started getting out there and meeting all of them," says the enthusiastic 24-year-old musician, who also goes by the stage name Stepdaddy. How long the swamp punk wave will last? Lauter feels it has some legs. "I think [the genre] will last as long as people are having a good time with it. We personally aren't trying to fall into any kind of genre; we are just doing our thing, and it feels right."
Largely influenced by the hillbilly swagger of groups such as the Legendary Shack Shakers and Reverend Horton Heat, the Coon Doggin Outlaws' brand of retro-Americana has seemingly struck a nerve. The trio is jetting off for a seven-date tour across California starting Friday, July 13.
As for how the band settled on its outlandish moniker, Lauter said it stemmed from an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" attitude toward their backwoods lifestyle. "It works well with our tongue-in-cheek take on redneck living," explained Lauter. "We grew up listening to punk rock in a small town, and we were kind of like 'Fuck all these hicks -- we hate it here.' As we got older, the punk influence met with more acceptability to our country living."
Lauter and crew, which includes upright bass player Bret Huff, AKA Skillabob, and drummer Jim "Uncle Jim" Fusco, released their eponymous debut in May. It's available on iTunes and other major online distributors.
Take a sample of the group's boondocks rock below.