News and notes from Fredericksburg's entertainment scene
Dead Men’s Hollow: Gospel gets a hint of local history
BY FRANCES WOMBLE
FOR THE FREE LANCE–STAR
Dead Men’s Hollow is used to playing a range of venues including churches, bars and even the Kennedy Center.
On Sunday, Christ Episcopal Church in Spotsylvania County will a host a concert for the regional band, a hybrid of bluegrass, country, blues and gospel, as part of a concert series.
“The church asked [Dead Men’s Hollow] to perform after a bunch of us saw them perform at a house concert on Lake Anna and were blown away,” said Joe Junod of Christ Church.
Amy Rogers Nazarov, one of Dead Men’s Hollow’s six members, said the band considered the venue when deciding the song list for the concert on April 29.
“Because it’s a church and because it’s 2 o’clock in the afternoon, the focus of this particular show will be gospel,” she said.
Nazarov said the audience can expect about half of the music in the two-hour performance to be gospel songs, many of which are original.
“We write a lot of our gospel songs,” she said. “But we’re also going to be performing songs the audience will know.”
Many of the original songs at the concert will come from “Angels’ Share,” the band’s fourth album.
“All but one of these songs is original,” Nazarov said. “We come from a range of faith backgrounds, but we all contributed at least one song.”
“Ballad of the Four Chaplains,” the second track of the album, especially stands out to Junod.
“It may make you weep or sob or both,” he said.
Although the band is earning a gospel name, Nazarov said the band is also interested in local history. In fact, the band drew its name from Northern Virginia history and culture.
“Dead Men’s Hollow was the nickname for the area that is now Rosslyn,” she said. “It’s now very clean, but in the post-Civil War era, it was filled with crooks and even dead bodies in the Potomac. It had a very seedy reputation, but now it is polished and filled with Starbucks and high-rises.”
Nazarov also said many of their songs share the band’s love of history.
“We have other songs we perform that give a nod to areas of the Greater D.C. area,” she said. “We have a song about a soldier coming back from the front and songs that pull in Appalachian influences. Some of these origins are right from Virginia. There is so much culture in the area. Even if we’re not singing about Greater Washington, D.C., the music contains different genres that took root in the area.
“It’s going to be a good show,” Nazarov said about the performance at Christ Episcopal Church. “There will definitely be some surprises there.”
What: Dead Men’s Hollow
Where: Christ Episcopal Church, 8951 Courthouse Road, Spotsylvania
When: Sunday, April 29, 2–4 p.m.
Cost: Free; concert attendees asked to bring nonperishable donations for the food pantry, which feeds up to 500 local families a month.
Info: 540/582-5033, christchurchspotsy.com
Band website: More information about the group can be found at
Frances Womble is a student at the University of Mary Washington and a freelance writer.