A special night of music is being held Saturday at The Phoenix
2016 was a year filled with staggering loss in the music world. We bid farewell to some of our generation’s most iconic stars. David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Prince, Merle Haggard, Phife Dawg, Natalie Cole, Leonard Cohen, George Michael, and the list goes on and on. The losses piled, one right after another, leaving behind a legacy of unforgettable sounds and influence. Closer to home, we lost the distinctive voice and banjo skills of Dr. Ralph Stanley. The founding father of modern bluegrass was born nearby in rural McClure, Virginia. Even closer, we lost Henry Hancock, a talented bassist and family man from Rocky Mount who played with rock-country band Surrender Dorothy.
“He was such a special guy,” friend and fellow bandmate Chris Spradling told Blue Ridge Rocks this week. “I loved the man heart and soul.” Spradling had known Hancock since they met in the music program at Radford University. In recent years they played together in Surrender Dorothy. Hancock, an extremely versatile player and back-up vocalist, played bass in the band until health issues forced him to take a break. Hancock last played a show with Surrender Dorothy in the spring of 2016, at a moonshine festival in Franklin County. “It was a long road for him there at the end,” Spradling said. “I really hated it for him.”
On Friday, December 9, the day after his passing, the band posted the following message: “It is with profound sadness that we must tell you of our brother Henry Hancock’s passing yesterday, December 8, 2016. He was a kind, thoughtful and talented soul. His endurance to the end was astonishing, and was a true testament to the design of the human body and mind. Witnessing his fight for life and the Sisyphean task of returning to the normalcy we all tend to take for granted until events such as this expose them to us was both heartbreaking and inspiring. He was a true friend and family member to us all.”
This Saturday, January 14, at The Phoenix, friends and family will come together to remember Hancock with music, celebrating the life of their friend and band mate. A host of local artists will share their talents, and memories of their friend throughout the night, starting with an acoustic set at 6 p.m. The tempo of the evening will steadily increase as The Buck & Griz Show, then Flight One carry the stage from 7-9. Local band, GOTE, followed by an All-star Jam featuring Surrender Dorothy will close out the evening. All are welcome to attend this celebration of life. This is a covered-dish potluck and BYOB event, so please bring something to share.
View the event details on Facebook.
“And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”
― Paul McCartney