Hayseed Dixie Biography
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 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 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 hard 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 fur 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.
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. Dale Reno and Don Wayne Reno left the band in 2013 and formed a traditional bluegrass group which includes Mitch Harrell, the son of their father's bluegrass partner, called Reno and Harrell, which released an album called "Reno Bound" in September 2013. Joining Hayseed Dixie 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.
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