Dolly Parton at the ShoWare Center in Kent, WA
Dolly Parton is a living legend. One of those rare talents that has it all and can do it all. Since her early beginnings, Dolly Parton knew she was going to be a star. This evening she brought her unique talents to the ShoWare Center in Kent, WA.
Touring behind her newest record album “Pure & Simple”, Dolly Parton came out on stage in her shimmering sequined jump suit and her rhinestone detailed acoustic guitar. She proceeded to entertain the audience with a joyful collection of songs and stories.
The concert was very much a retrospective of her career. From her simple upbringing in the Tennessee Smokey Mountains, her early years singing traditional country and bluegrass, and then her huge success as a crossover country/pop legend.
She sang many of her classics including “Jolene”, “My Tennessee Mountain Home”, “Coat of Many Colors”, “Appalachian Memories”, “Apple Jack” and “Rocky Top”. But the most impressive aspect of this string of songs was the instrument playing of Dolly Parton herself.
On “Jolene” Dolly played acoustic guitar; on “Tennessee Mountain Home” she played a dulcimer; on “Coat of Many Colors” she played harpsichord; on “Smokey Mountain Memories” she played a penny whistle; on “Apple Jack” she played banjo; and on “Rocky Top” she played fiddle and saxophone.
After each of these songs I was astonished at her ability to go from one instrument to another. Here is a musician who could have brought a full-blown band to back her, but as this is the “Pure & Simple” tour, it was just Dolly and her three-piece band.
Dolly also performed a melody of classic songs influenced in the American spirit including Don McLean’s “American Pie”, The Weaver’s “If I Had A Hammer”, Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ In The Wind” and The Band’s “The Night They Drove Ol’ Dixie Down”.
The second half of her concert featured many of her popular hits including “Little Sparrow”, “Here You Come Again”, “Islands in the Stream” and her movie hit “9 to 5”. Dolly closed out this wonderful performance with a very moving version of “I Will Always Love You” which has been sung by many but immortalized by Whitney Houston.
Upon leaving the venue, the buzz from the crowd was encompassing. Everyone walked out of the venue with smiles across their faces knowing they just saw and heard a musical icon.
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