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Kerosene Brothers

Choose Your Own Title – 2003 (Audium)

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

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CDs by Kerosene Brothers

So you thought the Hayseed Dixie albums were clever and musically adept enough to pass themselves off as almost real bluegrass? What you might not know is that before recording those albums the principal Hayseed-ers were really working on the opposite concept, playing bluegrass and traditional songs in a rock style.

The Kerosene Brothers is the fruition of that vision, one that borrows more than a little of their counterparts' playful hick attitude in the service of what ultimately are well played, if a little unorthodox, versions of classics like, "Shady Grove" and, "Farther Along." The concept is stretched a bit more here than on the Hayseed Dixie albums, with several original compositions and a pretty nifty version of the Old 97s' "Doreen," among the anachronistic ringers.

It isn't really a straight rock record, either, as the group still plays the same instruments - banjo, fiddle and mandolin, adding electric guitar and drums to kick the still grassy sound over the rock and roll knoll.