Over the past few months, Raleigh's honkytonk-rock kings the Backsliders have tentatively been coming back into existence on a semi-permanent basis with regular shows around the Triangle (the next one happens May 18 at Raleigh's Lincoln Theatre). There's talk of new songs and records, but so far it's just talk. Meantime, however, here's something you probably have not heard: "Hicktopia," a five-track mini-album from the sessions that eventually emerged as 1999's "Southern Lines" full-length. "Abe Lincoln" is the only one of these songs that turned up on "Southern Lines," and the other four have been in the vaults until now; "Angels" is particularly strong, but they're all great to have.
"Hicktopia" is available for free download here; and for those inclined to support, there's a tip jar.