Alt-country is a damned genre, still snubbed by Nashville gatekeepers and alt-rock hipsters alike. These guys know that better than most. The pride of Festus, Mo., were seeding a scene in the current musical hot spot of Williamsburg, Brooklyn (while recording their 1994 classic, ''The Brooklyn Side''), when it was just another low-rent urban bunghole, and by 2000, they'd sorta thrown in the towel. But Gov't Mule guitar hero Warren Haynes dragged them back into a studio on his own dime, and the result is masterful working-shlub songcraft that veers from twang-rock to pop-lite, but always swings a sharp wit. INSPIRATIONAL VERSE The sing-along bridge of ''Lucky Break,'' a slothful celebration of workman's comp, where front-dude Brian Henneman rhymes ''working class'' with ''everybody else, you just kiss...my...ASS!''