Grass Is Blue

Grass Is Blue

4.8 5
by Dolly Parton
     
 

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The high lonesome sound of her Smoky Mountain upbringing has run like a clear stream through Dolly Parton's career. But it wasn't until THE GRASS IS BLUE that Parton brought it all back home with an album of traditional bluegrass. Though grounded in the music of her childhood, this isn't a nostalgic trip. Instead, it's a vigorous and delightful collection of… See more details below

Overview

The high lonesome sound of her Smoky Mountain upbringing has run like a clear stream through Dolly Parton's career. But it wasn't until THE GRASS IS BLUE that Parton brought it all back home with an album of traditional bluegrass. Though grounded in the music of her childhood, this isn't a nostalgic trip. Instead, it's a vigorous and delightful collection of traditional tunes ("Cash on the Barrelhead," "I'll Sleep with One Eye Open") and newgrass ("Train, Train" and Billy Joel's "Travelin' Prayer"). She reworks the Appalachian folk ballad "Silver Dagger" (a hit for Joan Baez in the '60s) as a bluegrass lament and takes the Johnny Cash standard "I Still Miss Someone" to a natural home among the mountains. Several tracks, including the the title, are Parton originals; the bluegrass gospel gem "I Am Ready" was penned by Parton's sister Rachel Dennison. Parton has also assembled an outstanding cast of players and harmony vocalists, among them bluegrass Grammy favorites Claire Lynch, Alison Krauss, Stuart Duncan, and Sam Bush, as well as country star Patty Loveless. United in supporting Parton and the music, their stellar backup work is a testament to the power of tradition and the taste of its folk masters.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Philip Van Vleck
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.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/26/1999
Label:
Sugarhill
UPC:
0015891390024
catalogNumber:
3900
Rank:
36302

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Dolly Parton   Primary Artist,Vocal Harmony
Jerry Douglas   Dobro,Vocal Harmony
Alison Krauss   Vocal Harmony
Rhonda Vincent   Vocal Harmony
Sam Bush   Mandolin,Vocal Harmony
Patty Loveless   Vocal Harmony
Claire Lynch   Vocal Harmony
Barry Bales   Bass,Vocal Harmony
Steve Buckingham   Rhythm Guitar
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle,Vocal Harmony
Keith Little   Vocal Harmony
Jim Mills   Banjo
Louis Dean Nunley   Vocal Harmony
Alan O'Bryant   Vocal Harmony
Dan Tyminski   Vocal Harmony
Darrin Vincent   Vocal Harmony
Bryan Sutton   Guitar

Technical Credits

Dolly Parton   Arranger
Steve Buckingham   Producer
Marshall Morgan   Engineer
Gary Paczosa   Engineer
Doug Sax   Mastering
Toby Seay   Engineer,Digital Editing
Chuck Turner   Digital Editing

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