Dolly’s Discography – Pure & Simple (2016)

‘Pure & Simple’ is an album dedicated to Dolly’s mysterious husband Carl Dean, a man who has kept himself out of the spotlight for her entire career. The songs Dolly has written about him in the past include ‘Jolene’ and ‘Just Because I’m A Woman’, neither of which paint him in an entirely flattering light. To do an album of love songs in the year they renewed their vows is a tribute to the longevity of their marriage, while also offering Dolly something different in terms of theme at this point in her career.

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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.

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Dolly Parton’s Discography – Those Were the Days (2005)

Released a couple of years after the abomination that is ‘For God and Country’ this was Dolly back on safer territory, with a cover album of country and pop songs from the 60s and 70s. The musical style was back to the bluegrass sound which had been so successful and features many guest artists including Norah Jones, Lee Ann Womack, Kris Kristofferson, Alison Krauss, and even the return of her old friend Mr Porter Wagoner.

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Album Review: Lainey Wilson – Bell Bottom Country

A couple of weeks back Lainey Wilson stormed the Country Music Awards, winning Female Vocalist as well as New Artist of the Year, rewarding a woman who has been working hard to make a name for herself in a crowded and challenging mainstream country music world.

Her new album ‘Bell Bottom Country’ shows that she understands what modern country music needs to be – both familiar and yet forward looking, personal but full of common truths.

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Album Review – Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville

Friday was a big day in a small town – Lindeville is now firmly on the country music map. Here you will find memorable characters and hear hilarious stories you will recognise no matter where in the world you’re from. Brought to life by some of the best songwriters in the business this stop may just be a short diversion for most of the featured artists but Lindeville will surely stay in their memory for a long time.

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Album Review: Sunny Sweeney – Married Alone

Can a song fix everything?

Songs are lifeboats for me. Music saves my soul and my sanity every damn day. Hitting the repeat button until a new song is inside your heart and soul is one of the joys of my life. Other people may let music wash over them, a background soundtrack to other more interesting pursuits. But for me, for most of us reading this blog I’m sure, music is the answer to a question we don’t even know how to ask.

Sunny Sweeney understands. On this new album she shows us how music can save your life, bring you comfort when life gets rough, maybe even bring someone back to life even for a moment. Music is the closest feeling we have to that kind of miracle.

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Album Review: Amy Ray – If It All Goes South

At the Americana awards in Nashville this week the Indigo Girls were recognised with the Spirit of Americana/ Free Speech in music award for lifetime achievement as songwriters and activists. Brandi Carlile introduced the award by describing the duo as ‘heroes who are still paving the way…for the people and of the people.’

Amy accepted the award with a speech echoing the sentiment Joan Baez once expressed to her: ‘I’m not going to pass my torch to anyone…I’m going to hang on to it and help others light theirs. We all need to keep that flame of social justice alive.’ It was a powerful statement of continued intent from a duo who have quietly blazed a trail for LGBT musicians for decades.

Amy embraces her Americana roots on this excellent solo album, working with an array of friends and collaborators who understand the power of community. Written during the pandemic, If It All Goes South offers solace and hope for turbulent times.

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Dolly Parton’s Discography: Run Rose Run (2022)

Run Rose Run is a unique album in Dolly’s discography, being released simultaneously with a novel tie in of the same name, co-written with James Patterson. Essentially this is a novel (and soon to be a movie) soundtrack. Dolly has been working hard expanding the Dollyverse and promoting these two projects with multiple events online and even in person at South by Southwest.

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