Little Sparrow

Little Sparrow

4.8 9
by Dolly Parton
     
 

From the opening notes of Stuart Duncan's fiddle on the title track through a haunting reprise of the same tune at the end of the disc, the evocative, mostly acoustic Little Sparrow, featuring guest appearances by the likes of Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent, Sonya IsaacsSee more details below

Overview

From the opening notes of Stuart Duncan's fiddle on the title track through a haunting reprise of the same tune at the end of the disc, the evocative, mostly acoustic Little Sparrow, featuring guest appearances by the likes of Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent, Sonya Isaacs, and Rebecca Lynn Howard, finds Dolly Parton revisiting mountain memories of her past and creating a few new ones in the process. The 14 songs include her spooky original tale "Mountain Angel," the intimate evocation of heartbreak "A Tender Lie," and the lighthearted love song "Marry Me." She also adds a Celtic twist to "In the Sweet By and By" (with noted Irish folk combo Altan guesting) and turns Collective Soul's "Shine" into an Appalachian gospel affirmation. The album's most stirring moment, though, is Parton's thoughtful remake of her own haunting ballad "Down from Dover," which amplifies the original's heartbreaking lyrics.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Barry Weber
Though Dolly Parton had been exploring her musical roots to various degrees throughout the last half of the '90s, her true return to form didn't occur until the release of the Grammy-winning The Grass Is Blue, and its 2001 follow-up, Little Sparrow. Critics and fans alike agreed that the latter record was easily among the best Parton had ever recorded, and that was certainly saying something. One of the leading tracks on Little Sparrow was its love-wary title track, which kicked off an album that was filled with enough heartache-related songs to cover three separate country records. Parton's lyrics use the familiar folk metaphor of symbolizing a bird as freedom and rebirth, and she looks to it wishing to escape a world that has crumbled due to a insincere lover. She grippingly moans, "Little sparrow, flies so high, feels no pain," while fantasizing, "If I were a little sparrow, oe'r these mountains I would fly/I would find him, I would find him/look into his lying eye." Besides simple escape, Parton also wants justification for her sorrow, singing "I would flutter all around him...I would ask him/why he let me love him then." By the end of the song, however, she realizes she is merely a victim of an "evil cunning scheme," leaving no other lesson to pass on to her "maidens fair and tender" other than "never trust the hearts of men, for they will crush you like a sparrow." By this time, Parton has realized that even the sparrow is a victim of man's evil, and it is only free until it meets up with a man, who will casually destroy it. It's an ingenious metaphor that, along with a slow, aching melody, and a flawless production and performance, helps round out what is truly one of the best songs Dolly Parton has written in years.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/23/2001
Label:
Sugarhill
UPC:
0015891392721

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Dolly Parton   Primary Artist,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Jerry Douglas   Guitar (Resonator)
Alison Krauss   Vocal Harmony
Rhonda Vincent   Vocal Harmony
Chip Davis   Drones
Daíthí Sproule   Guitar
Claire Lynch   Vocal Harmony
Barry Bales   Bass
Steve Buckingham   Dulcimer,Autoharp
Dermot Byrne   Accordion
Ciarán Curran   Bouzouki
Richard Dennison   Drones
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle
Byron House   Bass
Carl Jackson   Bass (Vocal),Vocal Harmony
Mark Kelly   Guitar
Keith Little   Vocal Harmony
Pat McInerney   Percussion
Jim Mills   Banjo
John Mock   Harmonium,Human Whistle
Maura O'Connell   Vocal Harmony
Ciarán Tourish   Mandolin,Human Whistle,Low Whistle
Dan Tyminski   Vocal Harmony
Darrin Vincent   Vocal Harmony
Chris Thile   Mandolin
Marc Campbell   Clogs
Becky Isaacs Bowman   Vocal Harmony
Sonya Isaacs   Vocal Harmony
Barbara Richardson   Clogs
Mike Snider   Claw Hammer Banjo
Bryan Sutton   Guitar
Monty Allen   Drones
Rebecca Lynn Howard   Vocal Harmony

Technical Credits

Dolly Parton   Arranger
Steve Buckingham   Producer
Neal Cappellino   Engineer,Pro-Tools
Don Cobb   Mastering
Butch McDade   Composer
Proinsias O'Maonaigh   translation
Gary Paczosa   Engineer
Doug Sax   Mastering
Barry Etris   Illustrations
Eric Conn   Mastering
Robert Hadley   Mastering
Kimberly Levitan   Art Direction
Traditional   Composer
Sanford Fillmore Bennett   Composer
R. Sharp   Composer

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