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Classic Album Reviews: Hayseed Dixie | A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC / Luther Wright & the Wrongs | Rebuild the Wall

Two adventurous acts transform some rock classics into backwoods bluegrass.


This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Converting an old classic rock tune into cornpone country really isn’t that tough: Just add a two-step beat, a walking bass line and a hillbilly twang and you’re ready for the barn dance. But revamping an entire classic album — or an entire artist’s sound — into backwoods bluegrass is a whole ’nother ball of possum grease.

Here are two acts that take their shtik to the max — and with maximum results. First, foremost and freakiest are Hayseed Dixie, a Nashville novelty foursome that retrofit the hits of Aussie rockers AC/DC with the banjos, mandolins and fiddles of Appalachian Americana. From moonshine-fuelled, lickety-split breakdowns of Highway to Hell and Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap to hilariously shmaltzy country-waltz versions of You Shook Me All Night Long and Let’s Get It Up, these guys cover the map and don’t miss a trick — and their word-for-word, note-for-note reproductions only make the gag that much funnier. By contrast, Luther Wright & The Wrongs play it a little straighter with their continuing renovation of Pink Floyd’s The Wall (the first half came out in spring; this volume is the full document), treating Roger Waters’ magnum rock-opera opus with respect even as they turn Comfortably Numb, Run Like Hell and Hey You into barn-dance two-steps. One thing they both have in common is full endorsement from the originators: Waters has given Wright a thumbs-up on the project, and AC/DC even had the Hayseeds play at a private party. Who says rock stars have no sense of humour?