Hazel Dickens - It s Hard To Tell the Singer From the Song

It s Hard To Tell the Singer From the Song

Hazel Dickens


Rounder Records
One Camp Street
Cambridge, MA 02140

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Allen Price

There are voices that are the sound of a musical genre. Ella Fitzgerald is the voice of jazz. George Jones is the voice of country music. Hazel Dickens is the voice of the traditional music of the hills. Her voice just drips with her West Virginia roots.

From the mid-1980s comes this album, recently re-released on compact disc by Rounder Records. Dickens is joined by a remarkable list of guest singers and musicians, from Pat Enright to Allen Shelton, and from Jerry Douglas to Kathy Chiavola. They play just enough to provide a backdrop for Hazel Dickens' remarkable voice.

Its Hard To Tell the Singer From the Song includes songs that have become signature tunes for Dickens, who is every bit as wonderful a songwriter as she is a singer. One cannot help but be moved by the wistful sorrow of The Hills of Home, or admire the resolve in You ll Get No More of Me. Whether it is one from her own pen, or one from the pen of another, when Hazel Dickens sings a song, she becomes a part of it. And she draws you into it with her. It s a gift that many vocalists attempt, but few succeed.

Track List:

  • You'll Get No More of Me
  • A Few Old Memories
  • Do Memories Haunt You? / Coleman
  • Here Today, Gone Tomorrow / Kitchen
  • Hills of Home
  • Don't Bother to Cry / Merrill
  • It's Hard to Tell the Singer From the Song
  • Only a Hobo / Dylan
  • Will Jesus Wash the Bloodstains From Your Hands
  • California Cottonfields / Frazier
  • Play Us a Waltz / McGuire

All songs written by Hazel Dickens except where noted.
Edited by Roberta B. Schwartz

Copyright 2001, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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