When I was living in Georgia, I often went to Bluegrass concerts. Now, coming from a headbangers background, I was pleasantly surprised that these pickers were just as insanely fast (if not faster) and proficient in their instruments as their speed metal counterparts. And they do it with no loud amps and distortion to mask the clear definition of every single note they played.
A lot of times I listen to music through a musician’s perspective more than that of a merely appreciative fan. When I go to see shows, instead of dancing and getting entertained, my eyes carefully scan the stage looking at the details. I look at what the players’ fingers are doing. I look at the brand and model of their instruments and amps. And I listen closely to their signature sound, if there’s any. I absorb these things and turn it into inspirations for my own little ventures, later on.
One of the more interesting shows I had the pleasure of seeing back then, was that of a group called Hayseed Dixie. A bluegrass outfit playing AC/DC covers and other rock staples. Now, if you could just get around the fact that this is a bluegrass group and not Guns n Roses, you can start to not only appreciate but be extremely amazed by, as well, the talent oozing from these guys’ fingers, as they rip through rock song after rock song you’d only think is possible to perform with Les Pauls and Marshalls.
Their namesake gives away the fact that they can tear through the entire AC/DC catalogue with ease and precision – but I gotta admit… my jaw dropped when they did their version of Motorhead’s Ace of Spades. I had to listen to the original version just to check. And what I found out is that Hayseed Dixie played the song almost twice as fast as the original. Unplugged!