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Hayseed Dixie

Kiss My Grass: A Hillbilly Tribute to Kiss – 2003 (Dualtone)

Reviewed by Robert Loy

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CDs by Hayseed Dixie

Hayseed Dixie was originally meant to be a one-joke band and CD, their very name a put-on of the first hard rock band they paid their peculiar brand of tribute to, the Aussie headbangers AC/DC. But this is their third album and the reason they've lasted is because for some reason the formula - "O Brother, Where Art Thou" meets "This is Spinal Tap" - actually works.

The success is probably due to the irresistible incongruity of banjo and mandolin versions of Kiss classics like "Let's Put the X in Sex" and "Love Gun" - although tracks explicitly about a form of music like "Rock and Roll All Night" don't make much sense under the circumstances - as well as the sense of humor and undeniable musicianship of the Hayseeds.

One quibble and a couple suggestions: If they were looking to make a good bluegrass album under these constraints there were more logical choices from among the Kiss oeuvre, like "Beth" or "Hard Luck Woman" or "Forever." Maybe for their fourth CD Hayseed Dixie could honor Ozzy Osbourne - call it Blue Sabbath maybe - or the Rolling Stones - Street Fighting Mandolin, anyone?