More Dread Zeppelin than BR5-49 or the Cherry Poppin' Daddies, in that they seem to know it's a joke, Hayseed Dixie are about as unlikely a bunch of country stars as you could imagine. But there it is: The group's recently released sophomore album, A Hillbilly Tribute To Mountain Love, debuted in the Billboard Top 40 country album chart. A follow-up to last year's A Hillbilly Tribute To AC/DC, which saw the bluegrass foursome give the high-and-lonesome treatment to cock-rock standards such as "Highway To Hell" and "You Shook Me All Night Long," the group's latest finds them expanding further into the standard AOR playlist, applying fiddle and banjo to the likes of the J. Geils Band's "Centerfold," Aerosmith's "Walk This Way," Ted Nugent's "Cat Scratch Fever," and, to completely give the game away, Spinal Tap's "Big Bottom."
Dixie returns to the Delta this week when the band plays Newby's on Thursday, June 27th (following an in-store appearance earlier the same day at Yarbrough's Music). Whether the joke holds up over the course of an entire set, I couldn't tell you. But there's only one way to find out. -- Chris Herrington
Let's look into the crystal ball, concentrate on the year 2525, and see what the future holds: Following a successful exhibit titled "From Early To Mid-early Impressionism," The Dixon Gallery and Gardens will hang a photography exhibit focusing on Memphis rock-and-roll at the turn of the 21st century. Most of the shots will be by Dan Ball, naturally. But there will be others, notably an eclectic jumble that ranges in style from stubbornly straight to Germanic noir by one Geoffrey Brent Shrewsbury. Shrewsbury has documented some of Memphis' noisier bands -- notably the Lost Sounds and Vegas Thunder -- and captured them in all their gritty and occasionally glammed-out glory. Shrewsbury's work will be on display this Friday, June 28th, at Soho Gallery on South Main, where the photographer will also debut a short film he's made about the pleasures of alcohol abuse, karaoke, and mustaches. Fans of the Lost Sounds may want to head down to check out Shrewsbury's video for "Memphis Is Dead." Fans of the dearly departed Vegas Thunder will get a kick out of seeing Elvis look-alike Joe Danger and little Johnny Taylor making two of the goofiest "Look, Ma, I'm making rock" faces yet. -- Chris Davis