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Issue 57 - Pick and mix

Whisky Magazine Issue 57
July 2006

 

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Pick and mix

Hayseed Dixie mix heavy metal with bluegrass music to novel effect.And as his name implies,the band's frontman Barleycorn Scotch enjoys a whisk(e)y too.Rob Allanson joined him for a tipple

For many the twin poles of malt whisky and bourbon are about as far apart as you can get.

Taste, ingredients, climate for maturing, and water chemistry all make for two different drinks, and there are some people in each camp that cannot stomach the other side's chosen beverage.

Yet, as often happens in politics, it takes a musician to stand up and be counted by pointing out the similarities and why we should all be getting along.

As we have already seen in the pages of Whisky Magazine, there are plenty of bands out there whose song lyrics are steeped in tributes to whisky and extol the joys and bemoan the effects of this wonderful tipple.

For one bluegrass rock band Hayseed Dixie this is certainly true, their first album, A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC, was fuelled by Knob Creek bourbon.

But now singer Barleycorn Scotch – also known as John Wheeler – has found himself exploring the world of malt whisky.

However do not let the dungarees, tie-dye Tshirt and hillbilly style put you off, this man is a dedicated devotee of the water of life in all its forms.

John's profile in the whisky world was raised considerably when The Scotsman newspaper asked him to write an article praising the virtues of whisky for their Seven Wonders of Scotland series.

The band's links with Scotland extend to playing in the city on Hogmanay last year, and organising a music festival in Ullapool.

The 36-year-old singer, guitarist and fiddle player, not to mention a native of Nashville, Tennes...

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