Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Hazel Dickens

  • Hard Hitting Songs for Hard Hit People [Rounder, 1980] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Hard Hitting Songs for Hard Hit People [Rounder, 1980]
Dickens's brother died of black lung, an irrefutable reason to turn protest singer, and her vocals evoke Appalachia with a twangy, unadorned directness that must be the envy of Si Kahn, whom she covers. A natural feminist, too--try "Crumbs From Your Table" or the agonizing "Lost Patterns." But unlike Kahn she has trouble coming up with touches like Buddy Spicher's fiddle on "Busted" or the refrain of her own "West Virginia My Home"--music that makes you want to commit the message to memory. B+