American bluegrass singer-songwriter, double bassist and guitarist, Hazel Jane Dickens began making music in the 1960’s when she teamed up with her friend, the bluegrass singer, banjoist and guitar player, Alice Gerrard.
Known for her lonesome singing style Dickens vocals were high and distinct, coupled with Gerrard’s smooth accompanying voice, the pair would perform as part of The Back Creek Buddies. Their style of bluegrass was notable and unique, the current music scene was mostly dominated by male artists, making their sound a prominent historical feature which brought female artists to the forefront of music. Their widely admired performances made them role models for future generations of women in bluegrass.
The duo’s early recordings have been documented on two Folkways recordings which have also been compiled into one collection, reissued on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (Pioneering Women of Bluegrass Music). During the late 1960’s and the 1970’s they toured together, most often with the Southern Folk Festival, a group dedicated to bringing traditional music as a reflection of southern experience and struggles to southern audiences.
Taken from this compilation comes today’s haunting track, The One I Love is Gone. It’s the most magical and tender track, with Dickens and Gerrard’s vocals entwined in a heart wrenching lament, raw and bereft, set amidst the backdrop of a waltzing rhythm and sorrowful melody…It’s a beauty! Check it out above.