From New York to West Virginia: Three Tributes to Hazel Dickens To Take Place This Week
Three tributes to the life and music of Hazel Dickens will take place within the next week.
Tonight, May 30, a cavalcade of local will musicians gather at Banjo Jim’s — the city’s embodiment of the Americana music scene –on the lower east side of New York to sing her songs and as many played with her, to share their stories. Led by Danny Weiss and Mary Olive Smith (Reckon So), the house band will include master instrumentalists, Tony Trischka & Barry Mitterhoff as well as major players on the local scene, Kenny Kosek, Skip Ward & Trip Henderson.
The West Virginia Music Hall of Fame and Tamarack will pay tribute with film and music on Friday, June 3 at Tamarack in Beckley, West Virginia andwill include musical performances and a screening of Mimi Pickering’s highly acclaimed 2001 documentary “It’s Hard to Tell the Singer From the Song.”
Musicians who will perform songs written and sung by Dickens include David Morris (of Clay County’s Morris Brothers), Julie Adams, Todd Burge, the McKinney Sisters, Wild Rumpus and the Carpenter Ants. The WVMHoF’s newly updated permanent exhibit – which includes the stand-up bass that Hazel played for years (and the original pawn shop receipt) – is located in the foyer of Tamarack’s Hulett C. Smith Theater and will be open for viewing. The exhibit was produced with a grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council.
Hazel was inducted into the WV Music Hall of Fame in 2007. Alison Krauss, a longtime fan (and label mate) of Dickens was on hand to present her award. Hazel gave one of the most moving acceptance speeches of any inductee noting that with her induction, “I finally feel like my music has a home.”
On Sunday, June 5 the Culture Center in Charleston, West Virginia the March on Blair Mountain will host its tribute to Hazel. Hazel was to participate in a concert for the March to Save Blair Mountain on June 5, instead, it will become a memorial for her, headlined by Grammy winner Tim O’Brien and will feature Elaine Purkey, Ginny Hawker, Tracy Schwarz, David Morris, John Lilly and Vince Herman. Blair Mountain played a significant role in the coal mining wars and is set to be strip mined.