Little Rock’s Ben Dickey, continuing to ride the wave of good press from his starring role in “Blaze,” gets a Talk of the Town piece in the New Yorker this week, including a killer illustration of him. In the piece, he and writer Sarah Larson visit Chelsea Guitars in New York and Dickey tells stories about talking music with Bill Clinton and working with Ethan Hawke (his friend and the director of “Blaze”). He also does some guitar work:
Dickey began to play Skip James’s lively “Crow Jane.” The fingernails on his strumming hand were long and glossy—strengthened with acrylic polish at an airport nail salon. (He learned this trick from Sexton: “He’s got his acrylic nails goin’, too.”) Next, he played “The Candy Man Blues,” by Mississippi John Hurt, and then, on a Martin D-28 Brazilian, Big Bill Broonzy’s “Mule Ridin’ Blues” and the Leadbelly version of “House of the Rising Sun,” jollier and folkier than the Animals’ hit. Courtenay was impressed. “It’s usually Japanese kids who come here and know that stuff, or some guy from Denmark,” he said. Dickey played “Freight Train,” by Elizabeth Cotten. “She learned how to play thisaway,” he said. He flipped the guitar’s neck to his other side, and played it upside down.
“Blaze” opens in Little Rock on Sept. 28 at Riverdale 10.