Finland has always been known as a very ROCK and ROLL country and post-1986 a VERY heavy metal country in terms of music. So it’s a rare thing to hear of people here being a fan of country/bluegrass music…until I found out about a band from my home state of Tennessee called Hayseed Dixie.
Several months ago I was in a store and a cashier asked me if I had heard of AC/DC. I said, ‘Of course I have heard of AC/DC!!!’ How dare someone question such a thing of me! But she said…’No no! Not AC/DC! HAYSEED DIXIE. They play cover songs of metal, hard rock tunes but with bluegrass/country music styled playing.’
Intrigued, I later looked the band up and found out they were coming to here in Kuopio for a show and I thought what a great opportunity to talk and check out a unusual blend of music and get to talk to some guys from back home.
I arrived at Henry’s Pub early as I was supposed to get an interview in with the band before showtime but due to weather they were running behind and didn’t get to arrive until around 8 pm. I did get a chance to talk to John the singer for a good while before the show though and he is the native Tennessean in the band and it was nice talking to him about our home state and what brought us both to Europe, politics and general music stuff. I also got to meet the rest of the band as well, though not as in depth but all members were great dudes and friendly to talk to. (As a side note I was supposed to meet John at his hotel the next day for my interview but had missed my bus back home after the show and had to walk 5 miles back home…so I was dead tired and missed the interview as a result. My apologies!!)
So anyway, what you are here for is a review of the show. First of all, Henry’s Pub had a good sized crowd as Hayseed Dixie has a fairly strong following here in Finland and this was the 5th show if 6 for them in the country in the past few weeks. The band took the stage and performed their very first album which were cover tunes of AC/DC songs and what a treat that really was! The band performed fantastically and it was really fun to hear songs like, ‘Back In Black’, ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ and others played with banjos and mandolins. Not only did the band rock these songs out the crowd was very enthusiastic in hearing these interpretations of these classic songs and very appreciative to how they were done. Always a good sign!
After the 45 minute set of AC/DC covers the band went into songs from other countries and would sing them in that country’s native language. For Finland, the band of course covered Hector’s drinking song ‘Juodaan Viinaa’ which is an extremely popular song here and also a song Korpiklaani has also covered. Hayseed Dixie does it in a style that is more in line with the original and nail it perfectly, much to the delight of the crowd on hand. The band also went on to cover Motorhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’ and Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’…you have not heard anything until you heard this song done…bluegrass style! Very fun and awesome!
The band finally wrapped up their set and made it a point to go out in the audience and meet and talk to fans which was cool to see as everyone was very happy to talk to them and gave them a very warm welcome on this cold Finnish night.
If you ever get a chance to check out Hayseed Dixie live make sure you do as they give a great show and are very friendly guys. Finland may be a Heavy Metal nation but on this night two different musical cultures met and joined forces for one kick ass show.