TENNESSEE ‘rockgrass’ favourites Hayseed Dixie are bringing their live show to the Electric Palace.

Nearly two decades and an impressive 15 albums into their career, the band will play Bridport on August 1.

Formed in Deer Lick Holler in the Appalachian Mountains in 2000, their first album, A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC, was a unique fusion of bluegrass and rock music that has been their trademark since.

Acknowledged as the creators of ‘rockgrass’, the album sold a phenomenal 250,000 copies for the band and launched them onto the US club and festival circuit, where their incendiary performances have won them legendary status.

Hayseed Dixie began one innocent summer day in 2000 when John Wheeler and Mike Daly drank roughly enough whiskey to float a battleship from the Florida Coast over to Portugal and back and decided to play around in John’s studio.

Having spent the previous few years touring around with assorted country hat-acts, John had assembled a proper pile of recording equipment. Thus, when he and Mike discovered in their drunken epiphany that the Lost Highway of Reverend Hank Williams and the Highway to Hell of Bishop Bon Scott were indeed the same identical stretch of tarmac, they were well and truly prepared to document this revelation in situ.

East Nashville, Tennessee in the summer of 2000 was a proper Bohemian party place, and a few friends stopped by, drank some of John’s whiskey, and played and sang on this recording here and there, as was the custom of the times. And 10 AC/DC songs were suddenly reimagined and recorded forever anew, entirely reinvented as Appalachian Mountain hillbilly rave-ups. Everyone danced (oh how they danced!) around the studio room and out onto the porch and drank more whiskey. (You should have been there. Really. You should have.)

Now Hayseed Dixie have evolved into a proper force, one that most people either love, hate, or have never heard of. There isn’t really any middle ground, nor should there be. But 14 albums – consisting of both original material and reinterpretations of previously rendered songs – and global physical sales in excess of half a million copies, with more than 1,200 live shows in 31 different countries testify: Hayseed Dixie are the undisputed creators of the musical genre, Rockgrass. There are many copycats, converts, and disciples out there. Accept no imitations.

And now, holding up their own idiosyncratic mirror to an unsettled and unsettling 2019, Hayseed Dixie are touring with their 15th studio album, a collection of both original songs and reinterpretations of R&B and Soul classics. Dance with them as they probe the queries: “Why do we still believe there is such a thing as ‘race’?” “Are concepts like ‘nations’ and ‘nationality’ really useful to people who lay bricks or perform kidney stone surgeries?” and “Why does every song always sound better with a banjo in the mix?” The boys are seeking after the root core categorical commonality that runs like an eternal golden braid throughout all of humanity. Then they will buy it a drink!

Nearly two decades into their career, the band have since become worldwide favourites at all the major music festivals including Glastonbury, Castle Donnington, Cambridge Folk Fest, Roskilde, and more have appeared in over 30 different countries.

With the current line-up including John “Barley Scotch” Weaver, Hippy Joe Hymas, Johnny Butten, and Jake ‘Bakesnake’ Byers, the four-piece will be playing tracks from their latest offering Hair Down to my Grass, plus favourites from their extensive 15 album repertoire.

Support for the show comes courtesy of Dry White Bones.

n Hayseed Dixie, Electric Palace, Bridport, Thursday, August 1. Call the box office for tickets.