Sex & Violins
(Zomba, 1995)

Sex & Violins has long been one of my favorite CDs for dancing. If you want music for a cardiac workout, get this CD! This is where "Cotton-Eyed Joe" meets techno -- and bluegrass will never be the same.

The first version of "Cotton-Eyed Joe" offers all the sound effects that could be desired in this song, from vocal rounding and vocables to horse nickers. The fiddle is fantastic. This version of the old classic barn dance song brought bluegrass to a new generation while introducing the older generation to the technical-age sound effects. The second version, the "Slide to the Side Mix," slows things down and is a more basic version of "Cotton-Eyed Joe." It is the final piece on the CD.

My favorite of all the songs on this CD is the second song, "Hittin' the Hay." Wow! What pluckin'! This piece has the most outstanding banjo I have encountered in the past decade. The tempo simply does not get too fast for General Custer on the banjo. He is super-talented and proves it with the first two songs on this CD. The rooster sound effects really accent this song perfectly as the ideal complement.

The members of Rednex have changed several times in the past decade. Currently, they number 11 primary members from the U.K., Sweden and Holland. They are based in Amsterdam and hold distinction for emigrating an entire band. For Sex & Violins, there were 51 extra musicians and singers. There were 25 on vocals, three on banjo, six on guitar, three on accordion, two on piano, two on harmonica, two on bass, four on drums and one each on violin, steel guitar, whistle and engineering. This should tell you what a sublime listening experience this powerful group provides. The number indicates the amount of layering to be found in these songs. The depth will blow your mind!

Rednex began as a "playful fluke in Stockholm, Sweden," according to their website. A group of musicians with an interest in the "Wild West" came together and shocked the world. They have placed 10 consecutive Top 40 hits and have spent the most weeks (25) in the No. 1 position on the German Single Chart since 1980.

Rednex is the group most responsible for propelling bluegrass into the new millennium and the next generation worldwide. While other groups have affected the status of bluegrass music in their own country or possibly a couple of countries, Rednex has reached audiences around the world and has shown the ability to top the charts in multiple countries. Their appeal seems universal. All ages love Rednex.

If you have not experienced the bluegrass and folk songs of Rednex, I urge you to purchase this CD today. You will not be disappointed. Rednex do lead the world in bluegrass -- often at a frantic pace!

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 4 October 2003

Buy it from