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Hot Piece Of Grass CD
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Hayseed Dixie have carved themselves a unique niche in music, playing bluegrass covers of classic rock tunes. Having branched out from the music of AC/DC, from whom they took their initial inspiration (as well as their name), A Hot Piece of Grass finds the hillbilly quartet "reinterpreting" songs by Black Sabbath ("War Pigs"), Led Zeppelin ("Black Dog" and "Whole Lotta Love") and Van Halen ("Runnin With the Devil"). Then, to show that they have at least a basic awareness of contemporary music, even in the Tennesse backwoods, they also cover songs by Green Day ("Holiday"), Franz Ferdinand ("This Fire") and even Outkast ("Roses"). But then, as if to prove that theyre not just the twisted redneck cousins of Weird Al, they even manage to fit in a few original songs, mostly played for laughs. The one noteworthy exception is the excellent "Kirby Hill", a darkly playful country anthem that is itself worthy of being covered by other musicians. Irony aside, A Hot Piece of Grass is a showcase for some fine bluegrass music (and album closer "Dueling Banjos" more than proves their abilities). Hayseed Dixie may be about drinking and having fun, but these boys can really play. --Robert Burrow
Top Customer Reviews
They continue their love affair with old things British by giving the old yee-haw-hoe-down treatment to two of Led Zep's finest, not to mention one of Black Sabbath's, while at the same time name-dropping a couple of quality English ales as favourites in their beer cooler. "Black Dog" is definitely better than "Whole Lotta Love" - whereas on past albums they have tended to do straight bluegrass versions, on WLL they have attempted to copy the strangulated bluesy instrumental bridge in the song and it sounds distinctly off.
Of the other covers Green Day's "Holiday" is superb, but Van Halen's "Runnin' With The Devil" is messy, again I think because they've tried to copy the original too closely.
If you own the previous albums you will notice, particularly with the cover versions, that the sound has much more body. Although the instrumentation is still strictly acoustic and without percussion, and the sleevenotes insist that no limiters or equalisers have been used in the production, the guitar and bass are more upfront in the mix to give the tracks a beefier sound.
The original songs cover the usual bluegrass backwoods bases (women, drink, old rogues and drugs) and are not bad, without being world-shattering. "Blind Beggar Breakdown" is a traditional-type bluegrass instrumental, "Mountain Man" sounds not a million miles from Heart's "Magic Man" and "Wish I Was You" is a waspish love-hate song with a wee swearie in it.
The album closes with "Dueling Banjos", actually just one banjo against a guitar. You feel they had to do it, but I'm not sure they did it justice.Read more ›
They are best seen live on stage, but if you don't get the chance, buy this album, put on your dungerees, and have a beer. You'll be glad you did.
From the covers...Rockin in the Free World, War Pig and This Fire are current favorites...but this changes on a daily basis
Originals ?....Blind Beggar Breakdown - written by Don Wayne Reno, Marijuana - John Wheeler....and of course Duelling Banjos...written by the Reno Brothers' father - which featured in the film Deliverance.
This album will make you smile all the way through....and you should definately check the guys out on their current UK tour - details of which can be found on their website:
Check them out - and PRAISE the Lord
'Black Dog' is an excellent opener, of course played originally by Led Zeppelin. 'War Pigs' by Black Sabbath is another brilliant song, and they are both played at a very high tempo, especially the latter, which makes for incredible musical talent.
Third on this album is Green Day's 'Holiday', which is brilliant, and has a traditional Celtic folk feel about it more than country, really, with the heavy use of violin. However, this does not affect the music one iota and it makes for a brilliant cover.
'Rockin' In The Free World' is another cover, by Neil Young. Not one of my favourites, I admit, but still an impressive cover.
Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love' is track five and I was very impressed when I heard this version. The detail is excellent and the music is very precise.
Van Halen's 'Running With The Devil' is probably my second least enjoyed song on the album- it doesn't have the originality of the other covers in my opinion.
Franz Ferdinand's 'This Fire' is a good cover, and I really enjoy listening to this song. The musical talent is again very impressive.
My highlight though has to be Outkast's 'Roses', not just because it has the most humorous lyrics, but because Hayseed Dixie have the talent to even cover Rap and Hip-Hop songs. That shows absolute briliance.
'Blind Beggar Breakdown' is absolutely fantastic. The most up-tempo track on this album, and the banjo and guitar are both played at breackneck speeds here. Absolutely amazing musical talent.
'Kirby Hill' has interesting lyrics, and has a catchy tune to it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great music when in the car never get stressed by other driver's when listening to Hayseed DixiePublished 3 months ago by Dai
Following the idea of Pat Boone covering heavy metal songs big band style it seems as if its all tongue in cheek. Read morePublished on 10 Sept. 2011 by Richard
Not a bad album. Typical of Hayseed Dxie style and worth listening to if you like this kind of music. Which I do.Published on 30 July 2011 by J. Davies