|HAYSEED DIXIE "Let There Be Rockgrass" (Cooking Vinyl)
The times when I often had to explain what bluegrass is, are long gone already... Nowadays a respectable number of musicians is experimenting with the music and that goes from traditional to alt.bluegrass and all kinds of wild Hackensaw versions.
Hayseed Dixie invented "rockgrass", complete with an original creation story. In Deer Lick Holler, Appalachia the musicians played traditionals for generations already, until the car of a stranger crashed into the old oak behind the Devil's Elbow turn. Searching for the victim's papers they found a box with records and actually, AC/DC sounded on their 78 rpm gramophone like "mighty fine country music"! So the boys of Hayseed Dixie honored the stranger by paying their hillbilly tribute to his beloved music.
Joking apart, this is of course a very smart approach by the trio Barley Scotch (leadvocals, fiddle, guitar), Dale Reno (mandolin) and Don Wayne Reno (banjo), it also asks for a tremendous skill on the instruments! The playing is so flashing fast, accompanying three part harmonies, that it's very hard to believe we're listening to just this small cast of three.
Besides AC/DC (mostly live-recordings), also Queen, The Darkness, Motorhead, Kiss, Bad Company, Aerosmith and the J Geils Band are covered here. There are two crazy self-penned songs featured and the traditional "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" closes off the CD, following the "sermon" on the end of "Highway To Hell". After the novelty has worn off, we can always pull this album out when we need the better kind of party music... What track I like best myself, you asked? Motorhead's "Ace Of Spades".
Written by Johanna J. Bodde, Dutch original of this review previously published on Real Roots Cafe, The Netherlands.