"I would hear Ola get involved in these long conversations with people and was fascinated," says Hazel Dickens, fellow old-time musician of the almost legendary Ola Belle Reed. "She seems to have such a grasp on words and people -- this folksy philosophy that made me want to reach into my head and pull it out also."
This Friday, Dickens will pull and pick out memories of her native West Viriginia, when she performs with several other "old-time" musicians in a benefit to help pay medical bills from three strokes Ola Belle's suffered last October.
"This concert is really a group of people who love and respect the music of Ola Belle," says Cathy Fink, who organized the concert and, along with Marci Marxer, hosts the event. Unfortunately, the audience won't get to see Ola Belle, who did perform as recently as the annual Sisterfire concert this past summer. But they will get a rare treat of performances by Dickens and Seeger, along with Kevin Roth, an Appalachian dulcimer player and one of Ola Belle's many surrogate children, and the Fiddle Puppets, a clogging team, accompanied by Joe Herrmann.
The concert, sponsored by the Folklore Society of Greater Washington, begins at 8:30 p.m. on Friday at Blair High School auditorium (located at 313 Wayne Ave. in Silver Spring. Call 281-2228.