Hazel & Alice
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Although Dickens and Gerrard had recorded a couple of albums as a duo in the mid-1960s, those were more traditional-minded bluegrass recordings than this 1973 effort. Several of the songs documented women's experiences in personal terms that struck a chord in many listeners involved in the women's movement, a constituency that the performers were not consciously addressing and somewhat surprised (though pleased) to reach. In fact, about half of this was devoted to traditional numbers by the likes of the Carter Family and Wilma Lee Cooper, but the original numbers brought a still-rare feminist viewpoint to folk and bluegrass music, particularly Dickens' "Don't Put Her Down, You Helped Put Her There." The songs make their points about women's struggles without being doctrinaire; the vocals (both solo and harmony) are impassioned, particularly on the Dickens a cappella showcase "Pretty Bird," and the musicianship appropriately spare. The CD reissue features extensive historical liner notes and track-by-track commentary by country music authority Charles Wolfe.
How can this be?
That I'm the first person on this site to review an invaluable musical document that's been out for 35 years? Country, old timey and bluegrass music is in my blood, but I have to confess I found this Hazel & Alice wonder completely by accident on vinyl in a used record store in the early 80's. The lights went on with the first track and have not gone off yet, especially after seeing Hazel live in San Francisco at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. This is the real thing folks - raw and powerful. If you want to hear the origins of the American and univeral struggle for justice and a fair deal, listen up.
hazel and alice
one of the best albums of all time in any catagory of music. a work of art vocaly and instrumentaly
Excellent Old Time Music
These two women have never received the recognition they deserved for their high quality work in Applachian music. IMHO, this is their best effort. You can't go wrong with this high quality collection of old timey Appalachian music.
Top Albums and Songs by Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard
||The Green Rolling Hills of West Virginia||Hazel & Alice||3:24||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Don't Put Her Down You Helped Put Her There||Hazel & Alice||3:48||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Hello Stranger||Hazel & Alice||3:12||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||The Sweetest Gift a Mother's Smile||Hazel & Alice||3:25||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Pretty Bird||Hazel & Alice||4:24||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Mining Camp Blues||Hazel & Alice||3:25||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||My Better Years||Hazel & Alice||3:18||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Custom Made Woman Blues||Hazel & Alice||3:14||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Two Soldiers||Hazel & Alice||2:57||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||You Gave Me a Song||Hazel & Alice||3:20||$0.99||View In iTunes|