So the story goes:
From the fertile valley of Deer Lick Holler, deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains of East Tennessee USA. In this area which was completely isolated from outside cultural and musical influence, the boys grew up playing the traditional music of their forefathers on banjo, fiddle, mandolin, acoustic guitar and acoustic bass.
All of this changed abruptly one afternoon when a stranger crashed his car into a stately old oak tree on a particularly dangerous curve, which the locals refer to as the Devils Elbow. Sadly, the stranger expired, but his legacy lives on.
As the boys searched through the wreckage looking for identification, they discovered several vinyl records. The name of the band on these records was AC/DC, and all they had to listen to them on was an old Edison Victrola that only played at 78rpm - everyone agreed that the songs were rather fine country music. A bit different but still mighty fine, and that the Lost Highway of Brother Hank Williams and this Highway To Hell of AC/DC were indeed the exact same road.
And thus, from these unlikely beginnings and entirely new musical and cultural synthesis was cast. As if the Creator Himself had uttered "Let There Be Rockgrass"
And after 16 albums and 1500 live shows - and no doubt appearing at a Festival near you this summer - the Rockgrass goes on.
And those 16 albums will generally be Hillbilly-ed versions of rocks greatest hits.
The first couple of albums were tributes to AC/DC and Kiss, and then Motorhead, Queen, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Journey, and others provided source material. There was even a place for Spinal Tap, Cliff Richard, Scissor Sisters, and Outkast.
Now I like a good cover version, and am partial to a re-working. And yes Hayseed Dixie fulfill this need and enjoyment. There are also a couple of originals interspersed which do not break the spell.
But 16 albums? I'm not sure it's something I'd play with any regularity, or indeed set aside some time for a Hayseed Dixie Marathon Listening session, but in small doses it does the job of lifting the gloom.
I own 4 of the albums, but somehow think that the "Best Of" route may be all the Hayseed one needs
(an then there's always YouTube and Spotify to fill any gaps of course)
Whole Lotta Rosie
Fat Bottom Girls