Dolly Parton took her acoustic guitar, her dazzling array of stage costumes, her still-vibrant-at-60-something voice and her down-home charm to greet her fans across the pond in 2008. She also took a video camera and recording equipment. The CD (and accompanying DVD) was recorded during Parton's sold out performances at the 02 arena in London.
As one of the most recognizable faces of country music around the world, it is beautiful to hear how well Parton's universally appealing songs of inspiration (Get To Livin'), cheating partners (Jolene), the daily working grind (9 to 5) and other home-spun country tales resonate with the London audience. Parton herself sounds as upbeat and chipper as ever.
She ripped enthusiastically through songs both new and old, such as Backwoods Barbie, Coat Of Many Colors, Jolene, Islands In The Stream, Jesus and Gravity and Here You Come Again. A crowd of several thousand readily accepted her lead and sang along to every song.
Between songs, Parton graciously engaged the crowd with stories of her childhood in Sevierville, Tenn. and told jokes the way only Dolly can. She not only gave her voice a workout, but she also played several different instruments, including guitar, dulcimer, fiddle and harmonica.
It is endearing to see that somewhere amid Buckingham Palace, high-end fashions and Big Ben, there is an audience who loves our own glamorous Backwoods Barbie.