Ten Inspiring Dolly Parton Quotes To Get You Through

Dolly Parton seems to have an inspiring aphorism for every day of the week. Her savvy team post her most famous sound bites frequently on social media and there are even books you can buy just filled with wise quotations from the Queen herself.

Most of those quotes are so well known now they have almost become cliche – like ‘if you want the rainbow you have to put up with the rain’ and ‘if you don’t like the road you’re walking on, start paving a new one’. When I was reading the interview by her biographer Alanna Nash in the book ‘Behind Closed Doors: Talking with the Legends of Country Music’, I was stunned by the fact that Dolly offers these pearls of wisdom and insight so often that many of them have been forgotten. As I read I began writing some of my favourites down in a little pink notebook to consult anytime I felt down or stressed.

So I thought I would share my ten favourites that you might not have heard before (or are worth hearing again). As usual Dolly offers inspiration, advice and a model of how to thrive: Continue reading “Ten Inspiring Dolly Parton Quotes To Get You Through”

Fifty Women in Music Who Deserve Their Own Biopics

After seeing the Elton John biopic Rocketman last week, I began thinking about all the women in music who should have their story told on the silver screen. Rocketman was an interesting film but I was disappointed by the fact that they mentioned Mama Cass, going so far as to recreate her home for a party scene and yet the woman herself did not appear on screen – not even for a fleeting cameo (Kiki Dee didn’t fare much better either but at least she had a line). Like many women in music history Cass appeared sidelined in favour of the bigger story of the man. Continue reading “Fifty Women in Music Who Deserve Their Own Biopics”

Dolly Parton’s Discography: Dolly, Dolly, Dolly (1980)

And so we’ve reached the eighties – the decade most traditional music fans like myself dread. During the seventies Dolly moved progressively towards pop and finished that decade by recording the most mainstream music of her career. At the beginning of 1980 Dolly Parton was 34 years old and still committed to becoming a worldwide superstar. Her decision to release another pop album dismayed the critics and many of her country music fans alike. And with good reason – Dolly, Dolly, Dolly doesn’t hold up that well to retrospective scrutiny, even if looking at the bigger picture we can conclude that Dolly’s plan for success worked. Continue reading “Dolly Parton’s Discography: Dolly, Dolly, Dolly (1980)”

Live Review: Lucy Dacus with Liz Lawrence @ Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh

As I stand among the sold out crowd awaiting the arrival of Lucy Dacus, I hear a polite voice behind me saying ‘excuse me’. I apologise, move out of the way and see Lucy herself cradling a cup of tea as she walks past me onto the stage. She steps up to the mic and says ‘Shall we’, her quietly unassuming stage presence only adding to the appeal of this very special young artist. Continue reading “Live Review: Lucy Dacus with Liz Lawrence @ Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh”

Album Review: Lisa Hannigan & s t a r g a z e – Live in Dublin

Most of us are stuck in the gutter looking at the stars, others like Lisa Hannigan are shining brightly in the sky like a celestial angel sent to serenade us lowly wretches. With the help of contemporary chamber orchestra s t a r g a z e she has reimagined her songs for the stage, with her hometown Dublin show being recorded for this new release. Continue reading “Album Review: Lisa Hannigan & s t a r g a z e – Live in Dublin”

Bobbie Gentry: Fashion Icon

Growing up in the Mississippi Delta gave Bobbie Gentry a deeply rooted sense of place which she channelled into her lyrics and music. What perhaps is less documented is her time as a young model in California. Work like this may be dismissed by some as inconsequential or superficial even but for Bobbie this must have given her some insight into how to use her own image for maximum effect. In her songwriting Gentry created characters and painted pictures of Southern life. She extended this attention to detail by designing many of the clothes she wore for her album covers and live shows. Gentry’s personal beauty and style helped to sell her music, long before social media and branding ever was even thought of. Continue reading “Bobbie Gentry: Fashion Icon”

Album Review: Karly Driftwood – Too Mean To Die

I’ve noticed a recent trend in country music for songs about how hard it is to make in Nashville – like ‘This Town is Killing Me’ by Caitlyn Smith, ‘Dreams Don’t Come True’ by Angaleena Presley and ‘Ten Year Town’ by Hailey Whitters. Honest thoughts about the crushing reality of pursuing success are also recurring themes on this new album ‘Too Mean To Die’ by Karly Driftwood. Her dreams haven’t come true, not even close, but maybe that just gives her something to sing about. Continue reading “Album Review: Karly Driftwood – Too Mean To Die”

Album Review: Mavis Staples – We Get By

For Mavis Staples’s 80th birthday the great and the good from across the musical spectrum came together in three concerts that celebrated the legacy of an artist who has been bringing light to the world for decades and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. As a force for harmony and unity there are few who can touch her. She’s skateboarding her way into the twilight of her career with more confidence than ever. Continue reading “Album Review: Mavis Staples – We Get By”

Album Review: Jade Bird

When I reviewed Jade Bird’s EP Something American back in 2017 I admired her talent and was intrigued to see what direction her career would take. She was being marketed at the time as ‘country’ – which seemed like a bit of a stretch for a girl from England singing soft rock/pop. However Yola recently proved that it is possible to take such influences and make them sound authentic. Both artists have now been nominated as ‘Emerging Artist of the Year’ at the 2019 Americana awards, the first Brits to gain nominations in that category since Mumford & Sons in 2011. Continue reading “Album Review: Jade Bird”

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