Record Review - 1 January 02 2002

Subtlety is in short supply on this bluegrass tribute to everyone's favorite Aussie hard-rockers. From the straight-up sentiments of the album title to the shoddy graphics to its less-than-30-minute foggy-mountain breakdown of 10 high-voltage/low-wattage AC/DC classics, this project's conception seems as lengthy as the inseam of Angus Young's schoolboy shorts.

Regardless, the unplugged drum-and-bass-less quartet from Deer Lick Holler whips through these ragged, politically incorrect odes to loose wimmin, big balls and dirty deeds (done dirt cheap) with twitchy enthusiasm, sounding like Pappy Yokum riding down the highway to hell. Stripped back to mandolin, fiddle and two guitars, these nameless backwoods boys rip through the tunes with more energy than Bon Scott on a bender.

In a year when the twang of O Brother, Where Art Thou? went multi-platinum and other bluegrass tributes have reworked Tom Petty, Elton John and even Bob Marley tunes (albeit with a bit more reverence), this one-off deal deserves to be the hootin', hollerin' soundtrack for your next moonshine-soaked shindig. And if Dread Zeppelin can forge a decade-long career out of similar tomfoolery, Hayseed Dixie oughta be good for 15 minutes of yuks. Heck, even Alison Krauss had a hit covering Bad Company.

Hayseed Dixie plays Thurs., Jan. 3, at Smith's Olde Bar.??