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Just Because I'm a Woman: Songs of Dolly Parton

Just Because I'm a Woman: Songs of Dolly Parton

3.5 7
Anyone who doesn't recognize Dolly Parton as a poet should listen closely to this solid tribute to the writer, whose lovingly crafted memoirs and bold statements of self-sufficiency rank her among the greatest country songwriters in history. That said, it's to the credit of the artists here that they don't emulate Parton's recordings but find their own places in these


Anyone who doesn't recognize Dolly Parton as a poet should listen closely to this solid tribute to the writer, whose lovingly crafted memoirs and bold statements of self-sufficiency rank her among the greatest country songwriters in history. That said, it's to the credit of the artists here that they don't emulate Parton's recordings but find their own places in these stories. Alison Krauss and her friends in Union Station render "9 to 5" a bouncy bluegrass workout; Norah Jones, by contrast, turns the bluegrass of "The Grass Is Blue" into an elegant pop ballad, whispered tenderly and with conviction. Over a heartbeat rhythm track, Joan Osborne adds a bluesy touch to "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind" in a vocal performance made more powerful for the restraint in the singer's approach. "Little Sparrow," Parton's folk-styled screed aimed at "a cold, false-hearted lover," gets a righteous reading from Kasey Chambers, whose outrage is matched by the band's surging protestations, a lone banjo adding a rustic feel to the sound. Krauss and Shania Twain form a dynamic duo on a thumping rendition of "Coat of Many Colors" -- listeners will be reminded how real Shania can sound, given a strong lyric and solid acoustic support from the likes of Union Station. Producer R.S. Field envelops Allison Moorer in a dense, atmospheric soundscape and lets her sing a song of freedom, "Light of a Clear Blue Morning," with understated authority. Emmylou Harris, Shelby Lynne, and Melissa Etheridge make their own profound statements, while Dolly herself shows up on a bonus track, singing the merciless title song, which torpedoes a man who uses and discards women on a whim. "I'm a woman/see my heart," she sings. We do, and it's a beautiful thing.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
While most of the world knows Dolly Parton as a glitzy bundle of multimedia entertainment who is a near-unavoidable presence on television, movies, and CD racks, displaying her big smile, big hair, and big -- well, you know -- what sadly few people acknowledge is that Parton, when she puts her mind to it, is one of the best singer/songwriters in country music. The fact that artists as diverse as Whitney Houston, Emmylou Harris, and the White Stripes have all discovered remarkable things in Parton's songs says a lot about the beauty, honesty, and grace of her best work, and Just Because I'm a Woman: The Songs of Dolly Parton features 12 noted female artists offering their own interpretations of Parton's compositions. If there's anyone in Nashville whose work merits such treatment, it's Parton, and thankfully practically everyone on Just Because I'm a Woman delivers the goods; "9 to 5" may not be remembered as one of Parton's more stellar tunes, but Alison Krauss discovers a bittersweet working-class anthem lurking beneath its cheery surface, while Melissa Etheridge keeps her sub-Joplin vocal histrionics in check for a fine version of "I Will Always Love You," Me'Shell NdegéOcello transforms "Two Doors Down" into a potent and sensual slice of late-night funk, and Nash Vegas interloper Shania Twain surprisingly hits just the right emotional spot on "Coat of Many Colors." Elsewhere, Norah Jones, Kasey Chambers, Allison Moorer, Sinéad O'Connor, and Mindy Smith all offer powerful and idiosyncratic performances that add their own personalities to Parton's songs without losing sight of the plain-spoken eloquence that makes them so effective. About the only true disappointment here is Emmylou Harris' take on "To Daddy," which is brilliant but was recycled from her 1978 album, Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town; one wonders why Harris didn't opt to cut a new track for this album, but the presence of Dolly herself, offering a new version of "Just Because I'm a Woman," certainly compensates. In the movie Norma Rae, there's a great scene where Norma's boyfriend treats her to a night out at the roadhouse, and she beams when a Dolly Parton single comes up on the jukebox, saying she loves her songs "because the words are so true." As glorious as Parton's crystal-clear soprano may be, it's the stories she's used her voice to tell that truly set her apart, and Just Because I'm a Woman offers a worthy tribute to the woman Joan Osborne describes as "a gifted artist cleverly disguised as a media superstar and sex bomb." A second volume is certainly in order.

Product Details

Release Date:


Album Credits

Performance Credits

John Leventhal   Organ,Guitar,Percussion
Meshell Ndegeocello   Synthesizer,Bass,Guitar,Vocals
Rodney Crowell   Acoustic Guitar
Emmylou Harris   Acoustic Guitar
Kevin Breit   Acoustic Guitar
R. McCormack   Banjo,Mandolin,Guitar (Resonator)
Barry Bales   Bass,Double Bass
Mark Browne   Bass
Emory Gordy   Bass
David Hungate   Bass
Lee Alexander   Bass
Jeff McCormack   Bass
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle
Jerry Douglas   Guitar,Guitar (Resonator)
Shelby Lynne   Guitar,Percussion,Background Vocals
Ron Block   Guitar,national steel guitar
Steve Buckingham   Guitar
James Harrah   Guitar
Dan Tyminski   Guitar,Mandolin,Harmony Vocals
Bryan Sutton   Guitar
Mickey Raphael   Harmonica
Mike Compton   Mandolin
Lex Price   Mandolin
John Ware   Percussion
RIck DePofi   Percussion
Roy Bittan   Piano
David Morgan   Piano
Chris Mosher   Piano
Gary "Bud" Smith   Piano
Norah Jones   Piano,Harmony Vocals
Hank DeVito   Pedal Steel Guitar
Chris "Daddy" Dave   Drums
Shannon Forrest   Drums
Owen Hale   Drums
Matt Laug   Drums
Kerry Buchanan   Drums
Andrew Borger   Drums
Joe McMahan   Electric Guitar
Mark Punch   Electric Guitar
Kenny Vaughn   Electric Guitar
Adam R. Levy   Electric Guitar
David Cole   Keyboards
Barry Beckett   Hammond Organ,Wurlitzer
Randy McCormick   Hammond Organ
Glen D. Hardin   Electric Piano
Alison Krauss   Viola,Harmony Vocals
Maxi Anderson   Background Vocals
Carmella Ramsey   Background Vocals
Cheryl White   Background Vocals
Maxine Waters   Background Vocals
Julia Waters   Background Vocals
Allison Moorer   Background Vocals
Melinda Smith   Background Vocals
Brian Ahern   12-string Guitar,Gut String Guitar
Rhonda Vincent   Harmony Vocals
Dolly Parton   Harmony Vocals
Darrin Vincent   Harmony Vocals
Glen Hannah   Harmony Vocals
Sonny Landreth   Slide Guitar
Viktor Krauss   Double Bass
Larry Antonino   Double Bass

Technical Credits

Steve Buckingham   Executive Producer,Liner Notes
Meshell Ndegeocello   Programming,Producer
Chris Mosher   Programming
Alison Krauss   Producer
Shelby Lynne   Producer
Dolly Parton   Producer
Melissa Etheridge   Producer
Brian Ahern   Producer,Engineer
David Cole   Producer,Engineer,drum programming
R.S. Field   Producer
John Leventhal   Producer,Engineer
RIck DePofi   Producer,Engineer
Nash Chambers   Producer,Engineer
Norah Jones   Producer
Neal Cappellino   Engineer
Donivan Cowart   Engineer
Marshall Morgan   Engineer
Jay Newland   Engineer
Gary Paczosa   Engineer
Bruce Robb   Engineer
Bradley Hartman   Engineer
Russ Long   Engineer
Kevin Churko   Engineer
Jeff McCormack   Engineer
Emmylou Harris   Liner Notes
Mindy Smith   Producer

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Just Because I'm a Woman: Songs of Dolly Parton 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well, if you like rap music, you would love this cd. I personally think it expresses Dolly's creative mind and really makes you think, the first time I heard her first track 9 to 5, I fell in love, it made me immediately want to eat fried rice, that is Dolly's favorite food. Anyway, my point is this is not only a song for old people, it is also for the hip young gangsta rappers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The only song on this album worth listening to is 'Coat of Many Colors'. Shania did a great job but the rest left a lot to be desired. Wish I has something better to say about this album, but I don't.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A good tribute to a great songwriter and entertainment icon. What turns a good CD into a great one is the Bonus track where Dolly herself performs the title track in a way that will make you want your next purchase to be a real Dolly Parton CD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well, first off, these titles on the cd are so great. They are also american classics like 9 to 5, that is my favorite song on the album. Workin 9 to 5! Sorry i get a little carried away, my point is this cd is great for all!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed Melissa Ethridge voice, she could sing any type of music and sound beautiful. Love her voice!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't believe it, this CD is so disturbing, it makes me want to puke. She always constantly resolves to violence. Good job Dolly Parton!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the worst tribute album I have ever heard..the songs were mix-matched with the singers who sang them. One would think with the wide stream talented musicians in the world, why would the most pitful singers be picked for a tribute to the great talent Dolly. The best track on the whole album is Emmylou Harris' "To Daddy", she is the only one who can really sing here..even though there are big names like Shaina Twain, who did sing from her heart, but sounds better singing her own music. There are no words to describe the other singers' covers..even Whitney Houston sings "I will always love you" better than Melissa Ethridge..and "Joelene" was just plain horrible..so sad for a pretty song! If anyone is looking to buy a tribute album to Dolly, wait until someone releases a better line-up of singers..while waiting for that release, buy one of Dolly's CD's where she is the lead singer!