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The Flowerpot, Derby
27th January 2015

Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland

hayseed dixie

Hayseed Dixie released their debut album, 'A Hillbilly Tribute To AC/DC', in 2001 as much for fun as anything else but here they are fourteen years later, known as the creators of a unique musical genre called rockgrass and still releasing albums and touring the world.

Totally lacking in pretension (and by their own admission too cheap to pay any roadies) the four members of the band set up their gear themselves and then when the lights went down got straight down to business. For the uninitiated this means taking an acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, mandolin and a banjo, adding in some vocals and taking a joyous romp through classic rock's back catalogue with a bluegrass style.

In their Appalachian mountain universe 'You Shook Me All Night Long' is a country waltz, 'Paranoid' is an olde English folk song and all 'Ace Of Spades' was missing was a mandolin solo.

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If this all sounds like it's a mad parody of rock and Metal that's partly true but a Hayseed show is so much more than that. The guys themselves are all experienced and very, very good musicians (Johnny Butten has been crowned the world's fastest banjo player) and it is obvious that they have a love for the rock and Metal classics they play as well as for the country and bluegrass tradition that is their background.

When they cover Sabbath's 'War Pigs' it is funny but within seconds of the intro the sold out crowd is singing along and it becomes a celebration of the song leaving everyone smiling. When they cover old standard 'Duelling Banjos' it is with respect but a real rock style attack and the crowd really respond to it.

hayseed dixie

Smiling and having fun is easy to do tonight. John Wheeler is an excellent frontman in his own right and commands as much attention with his stories and comments between the songs as he does singing them. Whether it's sharing the pheremones on his sweat towel with a girl in the front row or explaining why 'Eye Of The Tiger' will be the song to break them in Germany the laughs are long and loud all night.

The band include a few original songs in the show and 'Moonshiner's Daughter' and 'I'm Keeping Your Poop In A Jar', amongst several others, go down as well as the covers. However what people probably talked about in the bar afterwards was the magnificent madness which is their take on what they claim is the best killing song of all time 'Bohemian Rhapsody' or an encore medley which seamlessly married the best moments of The Eagles, Pink Floyd, Dio, Britney Spears and (ulp) George Michael among others into pure rockgrass heaven.

hayseed dixie

A Hayseed Dixie show is always a joyous event which results in an audience full of smiles and dancing really bad hoedowns. Tonight was no different and the crowd left sweaty and satisfied and with a new found respect for mandolin soloing.

If you enjoy rock and Metal, having fun and have an open mind this is a band you have to see. Highly recommended.

hayseed dixie

Line up:
John Wheeler – vocals, acoustic guitar
Johnny Butten – banjo
Hippy Joe Hymas – mandolin, acoustic guitar
Jake "Bakesnake" Byers – acoustic bass guitar


hayseed dixie




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