Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard, Sing Me Back Home: The DC Tapes, 1965-1969
Label: Free Dirt Records
Reviewed by: kim Walter, Dec 2018
In the unforgettable words of my mother, “Boy, this is really terrible.” However, I heartily disagree, because this sounds exactly like it should: a delightful array of songs from Alice’s private archive of songs recorded between 1965 - 1969, back when men were not only the main purveyors of bluegrass, they were the mainstay of the music business. These are songs created at home, with only two voices and a handful of instruments, and cover a vast amount of both popular music like The Carter Family, The Louvin Brothers, Jimmie Rodgers, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, as well as other classics that blur the line between old-timey music and bluegrass. My favorite thing about it is exactly what my mother hates: the lo fi / unprofessional quality. But, I like hearing them talking and coughing! It really just adds to the whole vintage appeal, ie music by and for REAL PEOPLE. Honestly, they are all great. Since most of the songs are very similar, I’m not reviewing it track by track, but here are some highlights:
: 1 is a fun version of a familiar tune,
3 is very nasal, 6 and 14 are slower bluesy numbers
, **5 is like dueling voices,
10 is very BLUEGRASS, but play ANYTHING!!