|Also known as||Kerosene Brothers|
|Genres||Parody, bluegrass, rock|
Festival Mushroom Records
|Members||John Wheeler aka Barley Scotch
Hippy Joe Hymas
Jake "Bakesnake" Byers
|Past members||Kurt Carrick
Jason D Smith
Don Wayne Reno
Hayseed Dixie is an American band which began in 2001 with the release of their first album, A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC. The band performs a mixture of cover versions of hard rock songs and original compositions in a style that is a unique fusion of bluegrass and rock music and they are acknowledged as the creators of the musical genre "Rockgrass". The band's name is a linguistic play on the name of the band AC/DC.
The project was originally called AC/Dixie on the first pressing of the debut album, but they respectfully heeded the request by lawyers from Sony Music to either change the name or face a copyright infringement lawsuit. Claiming to hail from Deer Lick Holler, Appalachia, the band has played over 1,100 live dates in 31 different countries since 2001.
Upon its initial debut release on April 17, 2001, the first Hayseed Dixie album of acoustic hillbilly-styled reworkings of AC/DC songs received considerable morning-show radio airplay in the US, selling over 250,000 albums in the US from 2001 to 2003, and the band toured the US club and festival circuit extensively during that time. In March 2003, the band had the unique distinction of having 3 different albums in the Top 15 in the bluegrass category of the US Billboard charts at the same time. Western Europe, however, has shown the group the most enduring appreciation.
Since 2001, the band has produced 13 further themed albums in the Rockgrass style, composed of both hillbilly-esque reworkings of classic rock songs and of original material which is mainly satirical in nature.
Hayseed Dixie has performed at most major European folk and rock music festivals, including an appearance opening the Main Stage at Glastonbury in 2005. Attesting to their cross-genre appeal, they are the only band who have ever headlined English festival stages at both Castle Donington Download Festival and the Cambridge Folk Festival in the same year. In September 2005 they held their own festival, called Loopallu, in the small coastal town of Ullapool, Scotland, which has since become an annual event, though they are no longer involved with it.
In June 2007 Hayseed Dixie appeared on the opening day of the Download Festival and played at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark in July 2007. In October 2010, the band played a 4-night "Hayfest: Tour of Glasgow, Scotland" performing 4 consecutive themed nights (Drinking, Cheating, Killing and Hell songs respectively) in the Scottish city with no songs repeated, thus playing over 8 hours of music during the 4 nights. Hayseed Dixie made a three-consecutive-night appearance at the Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany in 2011, playing three entirely different sets of material each night.
Continuing to push boundaries in extreme and often absurd linguistic ways, Hayseed Dixie released an album on April 11, 2011 composed almost entirely of songs in the Norwegian language, titled Sjt Munchs Drikkeklubb Band. The group also charted a single in the summer of 2011 in Finland called "Juodaan Viinaa," (a cover version of a song by Finnish musician Hector) which loosely translates to "let's drink booze!" sung entirely in the Finnish language. Hayseed Dixie have also recorded several songs in the German language, among them a cover of Rammstein's "Mein Teil" and an original drinking song called "Die Richtige Zeit für Schwarzbier," (English translation: "the right time for black beer") as well as one song in Spanish. Excepting the 2006 Halloween EP, You Wanna See Something REALLY Scary? which was recorded in Scotland, all of Hayseed Dixie's albums have been recorded by John Wheeler at Renaissance Recording, Nashville, Tennessee, entirely in the analogue recording format.
Among others, BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine is a fan of their work and originally championed them at national radio in the UK. The group wrote and recorded the "When you wanna hear great music..." jingle for his daily radio show. They also performed twice in 2005 on the BBC Television show Top of the Pops and on the 2014 Jools Holland's Hootenanny on New Year's Eve.
Kerosene Brothers was an alter-ego project of the band; they released the album Choose Your Own Title under that name in 2003 on Koch Records. John Wheeler released a solo album on the Cooking Vinyl label, titled Un-American Gothic, in February 2013.
Longtime mainstay members, Dale Reno and Don Wayne Reno, left Hayseed Dixie at the end of 2013 to form a traditional bluegrass group called Reno and Harrell; which released an album called "Reno Bound" in September 2013. Joining Hayseed Dixie in January 2014 in the roles of banjo and mandolin were Johnny Butten, holder of the Guinness Book of World Records title for "Fastest Banjo Player," and Hippy Joe Hymas.
Hayseed Dixie's most recent album, "Hair Down To My Grass," was released on January 12, 2015 worldwide and spent 3 weeks at the number 1 spot on the UK Country Chart. The band launched the new album in the UK with a performance of "Eye of the Tiger" on the Jools Holland Hootenanny New Year's Eve BBC TV show.
Current band members
- John Wheeler (credited as Barley Scotch) – vocals, acoustic guitar, violin, mandolin, piano
- Johnny Butten – banjo
- Hippy Joe Hymas – mandolin, acoustic guitar
- Jake "Bakesnake" Byers – acoustic bass guitar
Former band members
- Rusty Horn (as Cooter Brown) – acoustic guitar
- Kurt Carrick (as Kletus) – acoustic bass
- Mike Daly (as Wilson Cook) – Dobro
- Jason D Smith – bass
- Jeff Williams – bass
- Chad Mize – bass
- Dave Harrison - percussion
- Nick Buda - percussion
- Don Wayne Reno - banjo
- Dale Reno - mandolin
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|US Grass||US Country||US Heat||UK Country||Australia Country|
|A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC||
|A Hillbilly Tribute to Mountain Love||
|Kiss My Grass: A Hillbilly Tribute to Kiss||
|Let There Be Rockgrass||
|A Hot Piece of Grass||
|You Wanna See Something REALLY Scary? (EP)||
|Weapons of Grass Destruction||
|Sjt. Munchs Drikkeklubb Band||
|Nicotine and Alcohol||
|Grasswhoopin' Party Pack, Vol.1||
|Grasswhoopin' Party Pack, Vol.2||
|Hair Down To My Grass||
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
- 2006: No Sleep Till Liverpool (DVD) – A 2005 concert tour to support A Hot Piece of Grass. Includes a cover of AC/DC's "Hells Bells", several music videos and a segment about the origins of the band.
- "THE CHARTS: MUSIC". The (London) Independent. 2005-12-16. Retrieved 2007-12-04.[dead link]
- Dave Simpson (2005-07-27). "Southern fried metal". Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 2007-12-04.
- "Hayseed Dixie". The Age. 2005-10-07. Retrieved 2007-12-04.
- Troy Carpenter (2003-01-14). "Billboard Bits: Bob Dylan, Hayseed Dixie, Men At Work". Billboard. Retrieved 2007-12-04.
- Official website
- Hayseed Dixie collection at the Internet Archive's live music archive.
- "CD Pays Bluegrass Tribute to Rockers AC/DC". NPR. 2002-11-02. Retrieved 2007-12-04.