A couple of years back I made a running playlist of Dolly Parton songs, my favourite of which is the title track from this album ‘Blue Smoke’. My running route included quite a large hill and so this song would usually come on just at the point I was ‘climbin’ up the mountain’ and I found it always gave me the motivation I needed to keep going. The tune is one of Dolly’s most underrated songs, about leaving behind your old life and never looking back. A simple bluegrass arrangement that suits Dolly so well and one of her catchiest melodies – so catchy that the Glastonbury crowd picked it up almost instantly despite it being unfamiliar to most of them when she played it there.Continue reading “Dolly Parton’s Discography: Blue Smoke (2014)”
Albums of the Year 2022
The albums I have had a chance to write about in 2022 have all stood out to me on first listen and encouraged me to return again and again.
For my end of year list I have stuck to the previous format of only listing albums which have already been written about on the blog, with links below to my prior reviews. Therefore I have kept my list to ten albums, which means an unfortunate lack of diversity – this is entirely a fault of my own listening habits this year and something I hope to rectify going into 2023!
Let me know your favourites in the comments or on social media.Continue reading “Albums of the Year 2022”
Songs of the Year 2022
Yes it’s that time of year again when we all look back across a year in music to think about what songs we played to death, what songs stood out from the many heard and what songs really defined the moments of your life.
Find mine below. I have not had as much time to write this year so I have included some tracks which come from albums I have not had the chance to review. Let me know your favourites!Continue reading “Songs of the Year 2022”
Celtic Connections 2023 Preview
If you’re looking for some Christmas gifts this year then one glance through the Celtic Connections schedule will leave you overwhelmed by choice. Last year Omicron decimated the usually strong Americana programme, leaving only a few overseas artists playing the funded Transatlantic Sessions. Thankfully this year they have been able to return to a more normal looking schedule, with the festival celebrating its 30th year and offering a diverse array of artists across genres for every kind of roots music fan.Continue reading “Celtic Connections 2023 Preview”
Three Christmas Songs for 2022
The holidays are fast approaching and I’m trying my best to get festive so I thought I’d round up some of the Christmas releases from this year and beyond in my weekly playlist. Read on to find out more about my three favourite new/old ones for this year.Continue reading “Three Christmas Songs for 2022”
Album Review: Norah Jones – I Dream of Christmas
Original Christmas songs and albums are becoming harder to find, with so many artists finding the opportunity to sing classics too hard to resist. Who can blame them, after all, since these holiday songs are etched on our collective memories. Last year Pistol Annies released an album of mainly originals but that is rare.
Norah Jones’s ‘I Dream of Christmas’ was actually released last year, although I didn’t have a chance to listen to it then, so I was glad to see this deluxe re-release came just in time when I was looking for a new Christmas album to review. The edition includes six original songs written by Norah, alongside seasonal favourites sung in her classic jazz inspired sound.Continue reading “Album Review: Norah Jones – I Dream of Christmas”
Dolly & Me at Glastonbury
On the afternoon of June 29th 2014 I was stood in a field in Somerset, ankle deep in mud surrounded by 200,000 tired and unwashed people all waiting on a glimpse of the queen of rainbows and rhinestones herself, Dolly Parton.Continue reading “Dolly & Me at Glastonbury”
Dolly Parton Book Guide
Since starting my Dolly Parton project a few years ago, I have been an avid reader of all things related to the Queen of Country herself. Many of these books are worth recommending so I thought I would write a post grouping these into categories to help the average reader choose what might be best suited to their reading taste!Continue reading “Dolly Parton Book Guide”
Dolly Parton’s Discography – Better Day (2011)
‘Better Day’ was Dolly’s 43rd solo album and came three years after the fantastic return to form that was ‘Backwoods Barbie’. Some of the songs on ‘Better Day’ were written for the musical version of ‘9 to 5’ which Dolly had been working on around this time. The intention of the album was to be an uplifting collection of songs, all written by Dolly, that would help people escape from their troubles.Continue reading “Dolly Parton’s Discography – Better Day (2011)”