Grass Is Blue

The Grass Is Blue

4.8 5
by Dolly Parton
     
 
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

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.

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:
43775

Tracks

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
Toby Seay   Engineer

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The Grass Is Blue 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have never purchased a Dolly Parton album or a Bluegrass CD before but I read a good review of this one and decided to give it a try. Boy, am I glad I did because I would rate this one of the best CDs I've ever listened to. The music is great, the lyrics are great, the singing is great and the musicians are great! The sound was much more technically complex than I expected and Dolly has the perfect voice to pull it off with style. I recommend this tape to anyone who loves music. It's just beautiful!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent album - if you like bluegrass you won't be disappointed!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My husband and I (from Minnesota, home of The Bluegrass and Old Time Music Association)are big fans of Bluegrass and now big fans of Dolly's Bluegrass sound. Dolly helps popularize a music form that many love but is hardly heard and recognized in the commercial scene. Thanks Dolly for a wonderful Bluegrass Album and for helping people recognize how wonderful Bluegrass Music is!!! We love you and keep on makin' the Grass Blue !!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow! I've got Dolly's two other bluegrass CDs (Little Sparrow and Halos & Horns) and this just might be the best. All the tracks are great, but the final track ("I Am Ready") is an acapella number that will just blow you away. Buy this CD!!
glauver More than 1 year ago
When Dolly Parton released this first of her bluegrass trilogy, she had all but fallen off the radar. By going back to her roots and making shrewd picks of folk and pop songs to cover, she revived her career. These acoustic settings show off her mountain voice. I especially like Silver Dagger. (Note; I purchased this CD as part of her Acoustic Collection 1999-2002 set.)