Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dolly Parton - Burlap & Satin

This week (May 10th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Burlap & Satin, the twenty-fifth studio album from American country singer/songwriter Dolly Parton. It charted at number 106 on the US Billboard Pop charts, number 41 in Sweden and number 5 on the US Billboard Country charts.

Side one opens with “Ooo-Eee” and the saxophone playing of Denis Solee. The song was first recorded in 1980 by Nicolette Larson for her album Radioland. This cover has a definite 80’s sound to it thanks to Ron Oates’ synthesizer hooks sprinkled through out.

“Send Me the Pillow You Dream On” was a top 10 Country hit for Hank Locklin in 1958. Parton covers it here as an angelic lullaby.

“Jealous Heart” paints the picture of a relationship turned sour due to a suspicious thoughts and feelings.

“A Gamble Either Way” was originally intended as a track for the soundtrack of Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (click here for that review). Parton decided the piano ballad was too good to be lost on the cutting room floor, so she released it on this album.

“Appalachian Memories” goes back to Parton’s roots with a lovely track that brings to mind the part of the country she grew up in.

Side two starts with “I Really Don’t Want to Know”, a cover of a song that was a number 1 country hit for Eddy Arnold in 1953. Here Parton duets with Willie Nelson; their voices do work well together.

The first single “Potential New Boy Friend” went to number 53 in Australia, number 20 on the US Billboard Country charts and number 13 on the Canadian Country charts. The guitar hooks and thumping drums definitely give the tune a pop/new-wave vibe to it which helped it cross over to the US Billboard Dance charts (where it reached number 13).

“A Cowboy’s Ways” also was originally intended as a track for the soundtrack of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas to be sung by Burt Reynolds. When it was cut from the film, Parton decided to record it here for herself. The Nashville String Machine helps add to the tracks sweeping orchestration.

“One of Those Days” was the B-side to the first single. This song of reflection of days gone by has a gentle rhythmic sway to it.

“Calm On the Water” closes the record on an upbeat, mid-tempo, spiritual note. This one goes back to Parton's Pentecostal roots as her grandfather was a preacher.

Burlap & Satin was an enjoyable album to listen to. If you are like me and like your country music with a bit of a pop spin to it, this one from Dolly Parton might be one you might want to check out.

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