Personnel: Hazel Dickens (vocals, tenor, guitar); Alice Gerrard (vocals, guitar, banjo, autoharp, piano); Tracy Schwarz (guitar, dobro, fiddle); Mike Seeger (guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, harmonica); Lamar Grier (banjo); Carl Nelson (fiddle, piano); Kenny Kosek (fiddle); Richard Crooks (drums).
Liner Note Authors: Charles K. Wolfe; Naomi Judd.
Recording information: Blue Seas, Baltimore, MD (10/14/1972-04/05/1973); House Of Music, West Orange, NJ (10/14/1972-04/05/1973); New Freedom, PA (10/14/1972-04/05/1973); Track Recorders, Silver Srping, MD (10/14/1972-04/05/1973); Urban Recordings, Bethesda, MD (10/14/1972-04/05/1973).
Photographers: David Gahr; Alvin Rosenbaum.
Arrangers: Hazel Dickens; Alice Gerrard.
HAZEL & ALICE, the first of two folk albums recorded by the influential duet of Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard, is one of the classics of early-'70s folk. Made at a time when men dominated folk, old-time, and bluegrass musics, HAZEL & ALICE bucked tradition by featuring two female vocalists and instrumentalists. Perhaps more unusual for so traditional-sounding an album, HAZEL & ALICE has strong feminist overtones. Dickens and Gerrard never express political dogma. Rather, their feminism is born of personal experience-an affectingly intimate politics in the tradition of Woody Guthrie. Because of its power and poignancy, HAZEL & ALICE has cast a long shadow, influencing Emmylou Harris, Bob Dylan, Billy Bragg, and The Judds, to name only a few.
Originally released on vinyl, HAZEL & ALICE is divided among traditional songs (these constituted the record's first side) and original songs. The duo successfully evokes the Carter Family, Bill Monroe, and the Dixon Brothers throughout, but without losing its own voice in the process. Dickens especially is a marvel, one of the rare George Jones devotees who belongs in his league as a singer. She's no slouch as a songwriter, either.