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The Grass Is Blue

Dolly Parton

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Album Review

It was inevitable, especially considering her recent albums, that Dolly Parton would eventually go all the way back to the mountains with a bluegrass project. A child of the southern Appalachians, Parton would have absorbed this music straight through her skin during her formative years. And, indeed, her performance on this CD is impeccable, as is her choice of material. Producer Steve Buckingham has taken care to bring together a group of accomplished bluegrassers to accompany Parton. Alison Krauss, Stuart Duncan, Dan Tyminski, Jerry Douglas, Rhonda Vincent, and Bryan Sutton are major contributors, as is Patty Loveless. Parton wrote two songs for the CD — the title tune and "Endless Stream of Tears" — and she also reworked two of her previously recorded numbers, "Will He Be Waiting for Me" and "Steady As the Rain" as bluegrass pieces. She convinced her producer that Billy Joel's "Travelin' Prayer" and Blackfoot's hard-rocking "Train, Train" could work as bluegrass songs and, sure enough, they do. She also reached into the traditional folk repertoire and crafted a beautiful, haunting version of "Silver Dagger." Parton shows a terrific knack for this genre and, as always, her approach is a bit eccentric, but that's one of her gifts as a musician. She's always followed her own muse; this time it has led her to a singular interpretation of bluegrass that is one of the important bluegrass releases of 1999.

Customer Reviews

Green Green Grass

When I found this CD several years ago, I found a true gem! This is without question one of my favorite bluegrass albums. Very well arranged, and Dolly got the best bluegrass musicians to help her on this, and everything works well. Jerry Douglas made a excellent contribution to every track.

Biography

Born: January 19, 1946 in Locust Ridge, TN

Genre: Country

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

It's difficult to find a country performer who has moved from her country roots to international fame more successfully than Dolly Parton. Her autobiographical single "Coat of Many Colors" shows the poverty of growing up one of 12 children on a rundown farm in Locust Ridge, Tennessee. At 12 years old, she was appearing on Knoxville television; at 13 she was recording on a small label and appearing on the Grand Ole Opry. Her 1967 hit "Dumb Blonde" (which she's not) caught Porter Wagoner's ear, and...
Full Bio