Dolly Parton: Live and Well (Sugar Hill)

 |   |  1 min read

Dolly Parton: Live and Well (Sugar Hill)

The dinner was going well until someone said they didn't like country music, and someone said they didn't mind it. Then we tried to define our terms.

Was Shania Twain country? Nope, she's a property investor said Dave.

Emmylou Harris was still country, Joe Ely and Tom Russell were sort of although we liked them because they were also Tex-Mex rockers.

Then things got difficult. Steve Earle (sometimes, sometimes rock), Lucinda Williams (hmmm, maybe sometimes) and Willie Nelson (definitely, even when he sings pop ballads). And whatever Dolly was, we liked her anyway.

Which seems as good a place to start on an artist some will call singer-songwriter, some will consider country.

Live And Well was recorded in her Dollyworld concert hall two years ago and favours songs from her three recent bluegrass albums - The Grass is Blue, Little Sparrow, Halos and Horns - which are among the best of her long career.

This double disc finds Dolly in typically celebratory mood (she rocks in with Orange Blossom Special/Train,Train) before taking her audience into some of the just plain pity-full sad songs in her current repertoire.

She throws in favourites (Coat of Many Colors, 9 to 5, Jolene), an a cappella medley (Islands in the Stream, Here You Come Again) and delivers affecting versions of Neil Young's After the Goldrush and Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven. And she closes with a song she wrote which became a pretty big hit for someone else, I Will Always Love You.

Dolly is still a star, a significant songwriter, and her onstage wit is both self-mocking and amusingly honest. Fans might want to grab the DVD of this for the full be-wigged experience. The lump of coal that became a diamond.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Hannah in the Wars: Hannah in the Wars (99X-10/Aeroplane)

Hannah in the Wars: Hannah in the Wars (99X-10/Aeroplane)

Get past the usefully scene setting but irritatingly repetitious opener here (Burning Through the Night where Hannah Curwood's voice becomes more shrill and annoying than desperate as seems the... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes (SubPop/Rhythmethod)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes (SubPop/Rhythmethod)

With its references to late 60s folk-rock, baroque pop flourishes, close harmonies, art-rock progressions and the jigsaw-puzzle of arrangements for voices and a small array of instruments (all... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

LIVERPOOL AND AUCKLAND (2009): A tale of two architectures

LIVERPOOL AND AUCKLAND (2009): A tale of two architectures

As the vessel pulls away from the pier, the soundtrack is predictable: the 1964 hit by Gerry and the Pacemakers Ferry Cross the Mersey, Gerry Marsden’s paean to this, his hometown of... > Read more

ANDY WARHOL'S LOOK: Glamour, Style, Fashion and Moron

ANDY WARHOL'S LOOK: Glamour, Style, Fashion and Moron

“People are always calling me a mirror and if a mirror looks into a mirror, what is there to see?” -- Andy Warhol. There's a scene in an Austin Powers movie in which the... > Read more