Gig review: Hayseed Dixie, Edinburgh

Hayseed Dixie: Short on subtlety but long on fun
Hayseed Dixie: Short on subtlety but long on fun
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At the point where daft parody gimmick and proper muso credentials meet lies Hayseed Dixie, a one-trick pony from the other side of the Atlantic who have very commendably managed to play that trick again and again with little sign of it getting old.

Hayseed Dixie - Liquid Room, Edinburgh

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Originally conceived as a bluegrass AC/DC tribute band (play about with the pronunciation of the name until you get it), they’ve bent many of the classic rock greats to their own particular style.

The quartet’s original muses were much in evidence during the early stages of this gig, with the likes of You Shook Me All Night Long, Back in Black and Whole Lotta Rosie being dispatched in particularly hyperactive style, with the playing of banjoist and, as it happens, ordained minister Don Wayne Reno turned up high in the mix of stringed instruments. There were no drums, just a loud combination of banjo, acoustic guitar, acoustic bass and mandolin, with the men playing them dressed in parodic redneck chic outfits involving lots of denim, caps and the expansive beard of Jake Byers.

The set was short on subtlety but long on fun, building to a crescendo with a rowdy take on Motorhead’s Ace of Spades and feral medley of Duellin’ Banjos, Sweet Home Alabama and Sunshine On Leith, before settling into an oddly sedate take on Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb. As guitarist John “Barley Scotch” Wheeler pointed out, “some of the hotels get a little old in this business, but nothing gets old about playing to people.” No-one is going to ask these prolific performers to stop any time soon.