Hayseed Dixie is an American band which began in 2000 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 are acknowledged as the creators of the musical genre "rockgrass". The band's name is a play on the name AC/DC and was originally AC/Dixie, but they were forced by lawyers from Sony Music to change it. Claiming to hail from Deer Lick Holler, Appalachia, the band has played over 1,000 live dates in 31 different countries since 2001.
Hayseed Dixie initially received considerable morning-show radio airplay in the US, selling over 250,000 albums there 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 them the most enduring appreciation. The group has played almost every major European folk and rock music festival, including a Main Stage appearance in 2005 at Glastonbury. Attesting to their cross-genre appeal, they are the only band ever to headline English festival stages at both Castle Donington Download Festival and the Cambridge Folk Festival. In September 2005 they held their own festival Loopallu in Ullapool, Scotland, which has become an annual event, though they are no longer involved with it. In June 2007 they appeared on the opening day of the Download Festival and played at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark in July 2007. In October of 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 across the 4 nights. Hayseed Dixie made a three-night appearance at the Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany in 2011, playing three different sets of material.
Continuing to push boundaries in extreme and often absurd 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 liquor," 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," 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 Wheeler at Renaissance Recording, Nashville, Tennessee, entirely in the analogue 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.
Kerosene Brothers is the band's alter-ego project; they released the album Choose Your Own Title under that name in 2003 on Koch Records.
Founding frontman and producer of the band, John Wheeler released a solo album, titled Un-American Gothic, in February 2013. Dale Reno and Don Wayne Reno have a separate traditional bluegrass project with the son of their father's bluegrass partner called Reno and Harrell, which released an album in September 2013.
Current band members
- John Wheeler (credited as Barley Scotch) vocals, acoustic guitar, violin
- "Reverend" Don Wayne Reno banjo
- "Deacon" Dale Reno 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
|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||
|"" 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.
- (2003-03-15) Billboard - Google Books, Books.google.co.uk. URL accessed 2012-01-08.
- Hayseed Dixie tour itinerary (1 April 2007). Archived from the original on 2007-05-16. Retrieved on 2007-04-04.
- THE CHARTS: MUSIC, The (London) Independent, 2005-12-16. URL accessed on 2007-12-04.
- Dave Simpson, Southern fried metal, Guardian Unlimited, 2005-07-27. URL accessed on 2007-12-04.
- Hayseed Dixie, The Age, 2005-10-07. URL accessed on 2007-12-04.
- Troy Carpenter, Billboard Bits: Bob Dylan, Hayseed Dixie, Men At Work, Billboard, 2003-01-14. URL accessed on 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 on 2007-12-04.