The importance of women to old-time country music can't be overstated. Starting with the Carter Family and running through Ola Belle Reed and Hazel Dickens on up to Dolly Parton herself, the oral traditions of the music have always been disseminated by the cooks in every rural house. And the Lulus definitely know how to cook. Drawing on the infinitely deep tradition of gospel and hillbilly, but also unafraid to dip into the Hank Williams and Gram Parsons songbooks, Colleen and Anne Williamson, Hannah Arnson and Kelly Wells put hammer dulcimer, dobro, mandolin, washboard, bass, fiddle and oh-so-gently-warbly harmonies into the rough-hewn service of songs everyone knows and loves. Folk music needn't be dainty, and in the gifted hands of the Lulus it never is.
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