Concert Review: Hayseed Dixie in Stockholm, Sweden


Last night’s Hayseed Dixie gig rocked. This is the bluegrass band playing metal songs that I blogged about recently. Me and Paddy K went there after checking out some stand-up comedy with the ladies. We had been given the wrong starting hour, so we arrived at the Debaser Slussen club in the middle of the fourth song. But I believe John Wheeler and the others played for about an hour and a half. Afterwards they scattered into the crowd and chatted with everybody.

I spent the entire gig with a big foolish smile on my face. They placed so fast and so skilfully with a constant feeling of vrrrrooooommm! H.D. are a quartet: lead singer Wheeler alternates between the guitar and the fiddle, there’s an acoustic bass guitar, a banjo and a mandolin whose player alternates on the guitar. No drums or perc! All four sing backup, and they observe the typical bluegrass taking-turns-to-solo, when three members take a step back from the edge of the stage. The mandolin was miked and filtered in such a way that it sounded like a fiddle.

The songs were about half metal covers and half original Wheeler material. For instance, H.D. did a fine version of Sabbath’s “War Pigs”, a song about the Vietnam war that has seen renewed popularity with US involvement in Iraq. In fact, I heard of Montreal play that song on the very same stage five years ago.

Hayseed Dixie are an absolutely ace live band, clearly enjoying themselves no end, and Wheeler’s between-songs banter is as smart and witty as his lyrics. Don’t miss them if them come around your town! I bought their new CD, No Covers, and I look forward to getting to know it.

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