50 years of Dolly

Dolly Parton released her first full-length album, “Hello, I’m Dolly” on Feb. 12, 1967. The album, which debuted on Monument Records, contained Parton’s hits “Dumb Blonde” (written by Curly Putman) and “Something Fishy” (written by Parton). Both singles reached the top twenty on the country singles charts, and the album itself reached #11 on the country albums chart.

“I can’t believe it’s been 50 years since I did my first album,” Parton said. “What a wonderful 50 years it has been. Thanks to my Uncle Bill Owens and Fred Foster for believing in me early on. And thanks to all the fans out there…I hope to have at least another 50 years!”

Produced by Fred Foster, “Hello, I’m Dolly” caught the attention of Porter Wagoner, who ultimately invited Parton to become a member of his band and appear on his popular weekly television show. These appearances led to Parton’s rise to superstardom and she became a bonafide household name.

The album contained Parton’s versions of three songs she wrote that had already been hits for other artists: “Put it Off Until Tomorrow” (Bill Phillips), “Fuel to the Flame” (Skeeter Davis), and “I’m in No Condition” which charted by Hank Williams Jr.

Now, in 2017, her collaboration with Pentatonix on “Jolene,” was awarded a Grammy in the Country Duo/Group Performance category, marking her eighth win. The Recording Academy inducted Parton’s self-penned hit JOLENE into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

“Oh my Lord I am so excited to have won the Grammy with Pentatonix on my old song Jolene,” she said. “I am so happy and am so very proud of Pentatonix. The song is one of my favorites. Thanks to the Grammys, but most importantly thanks to all the fans. I love you all.”

The award-winning collaboration between Pentatonix and Parton happened through a partnership with Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, which has enjoyed success with both acts in the past with exclusive editions of albums from each. In Parton’s case, the partnership stretches back to her 2009 “Backwoods Barbie Collector’s Edition” project, which was followed by the release of “An Evening With…Dolly” and became the first Gold album-ever certified by the RIAA for Cracker Barrel Music. That relationship has continued with her latest Dolly Records / RCA Records release Pure & Simple. Released in the summer of 2016, the album – which netted Dolly her first chart-topping album since 1991 – was released in a deluxe Cracker Barrel-exclusive edition that featured live performances of her classic hits “9 To 5” and “Jolene” from the Glastonbury Festival, along with a 48-page ZinePak magazine filled with photos and interviews highlighting memorable stories from Parton. The collaboration is not part of any of the packages.

“Cracker Barrel is thrilled to have brought these two extraordinary talents together, Dolly Parton and Pentatonix, as part of our Spotlight Music Program for the exclusive collaboration of “Jolene.” We share in the celebration of their GRAMMY Award win as they are both a special part of the Cracker Barrel family,” said Don Hoffman, VP of Marketing at Cracker Barrel.

CTK Management CEO Danny Nozell said, “The collaborative video produced by Cracker Barrel between Pentatonix and Dolly has been viewed over 22 million times and has now won a Grammy. Dolly proves, once again, that she is making music that the fans will respond to.”

Parton’s 2016’s Pure & Simple North American Tour was the highest grossing tour of her career, performing over 60 shows.

To learn more about this American icon, visit www.DollyParton.com. To purchase a download of Jolene, visit Amazon at smarturl.it/PTXJoleneAmz.

New music from Dailey & Vincent and Kiefer Sutherland takes to the road

Actor/entertainer Kiefer Sutherland, star of TV’s “Designated Survivor” is getting back on the road this year to play in more than 20 cities.

Momentum continues for Kiefer Sutherland’s music career and debut album, DOWN IN A HOLE, which includes 11 co-written tracks by Sutherland and producer Jude Cole.

Recently, Sutherland performed “Can’t Stay Away” on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and “Calling Out Your Name” on “The View.”

Sutherland, known for his starring role in and Fox series “24,” also starred in movies like “Stand By Me,” “The Lost Boys,” “Young Guns,” “Flatliners,” “A Few Good Men,” “A Time to Kill,” “Dark City” “Melancholia” and most recently, a western called “Forsaken.”

Keep up with Sutherland on the road by visiting kiefersutherlandmusic.com.

Upcoming Grand Ole Opry stars Dailey & Vincent will release their eighth album, Patriots & Poets on March 31. The project features collaborations with bluegrass music’s top musicians including Steve Martin, Doyle Lawson, Bela Fleck, and David Rawlings.

The project features 16 all-new tracks that were all written or co-written by Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent, with a collection of energizing upbeat songs, along with slow sing-along anthems. Standout tracks on the project include the feel-good track “California” which features a very special verse by comedic and bluegrass enthusiast Steve Martin. Other highlights on the project include thought-provoking songs like, “Beautiful Scars” and “American We Love You,” all highlighting harmonies by 6-time “Male Vocalist of the Year” winner Jamie Dailey and 5-time Grammy® winner Darrin Vincent. Another feel-good moment on Patriots & Poets includes the track “Bill and Ole Elijah.”

Also, their hit RFD-TV program, “The Dailey & Vincent Show” is back with season one and season two of the popular variety series, now airing on Friday nights at 7:30pm ET, throughout all of 2017.
The IBMA award-winners were recently honored by the International Bluegrass Hall of Fame and Museum with the brand new exhibit, “A Decade of Dailey & Vincent: An American Music Journey,” which features artifacts and memorabilia from their decorated career as a duo and beyond. Fans can also catch the hit makers appearing at venues and festivals nationwide, including their annual music festival Dailey & Vincent LandFest in the Mountains, presented by Springer Mountain Farms.

For more information, visit DaileyandVincent.com.

Mac Wiseman is the focus of new star-studded music release

One of my favorite people and performers is the talented song stylist a Country Music Hall of Famer Mac Wiseman. I admire his influence on my life so much, I included him in my “Encourager II: Walking with the Masters” book.

He is the focus of a new recording project from Mountain Fever Records featuring a star-studded concept album celebrating his life and spirit.

“I Sang The Song (Life Of The Voice With A Heart)” is now available and it’s first single, “Going Back to Bristol,” featuring the International Bluegrass Music Association’s 2015 Male Vocalist of the Year Shawn Camp, reached #1 back in December.

Bluegrass Hall of Famer Mac Wiseman met with Peter Cooper and Thomm Jutz, sharing intimate details of his 91 years, and of his journey from Virginia boy to American roots music icon. That journey is the subject of I Sang The Song, the joyful and poignant album that springs from Mac’s storytelling sessions.

In liner notes, Cooper writes, “The stories would have been remarkable coming from anyone. But coming from Mac Wiseman, an acknowledged master of American roots music who earned the nickname ‘The Voice with a Heart,’ the stories began to sound like songs. Thomm Jutz and I sat in small chairs that faced the easy chair, situated beneath a photograph of Pleasant Hill Church of the Brethren, Mac’s childhood place of worship. We wrote down the stories, and found them rich with melody and rhyme.”

To begin the recording process, producers Cooper and Jutz assembled an all-star band of musicians including mandolinist Sierra Hull and multi-instrumentalist Justin Moses —both also lent vocal talents—and bassist Mark Fain. Further, featured performers were carefully chosen based not only on artistic mastery, but also reverence for the album’s subject, Mac Wiseman. The result is a collection of perfect performances by John Prine, Jim Lauderdale, Shawn Camp, Junior Sisk, Alison Krauss, Andrea Zonn, Ronnie Bowman, Sonya Isaacs Yeary, Becky Isaacs Bowman, Buddy Melton, and Milan Miller, with special vocal appearances by Mac Wiseman.

“Everyone who sings on this album understands the greatness of Mac Wiseman and the responsibility inherent in voicing Mac’s story and interpreting Mac’s words,” Cooper says. “These artists approached the songs with joyful reverence that is palpable to anyone who listens.”

For more information, visit, www.mountainfever.com.

If you would like to enjoy learning more about Mac Wiseman close up and personal, you can also order his beautifully written book “Mac Wiseman: All My Memories Fit For Print” as told to Walt Trott. The memories reflect nearly a century of the American experience that could only be told through the eyes of someone whose voice found success in so many genres of music.
​Check it out and get your copy on most internet booksellers’ websites. If you are Facebook, like Mac’s Bluegrass ERA, a page on which Mac share video performances and photo memories.

Jeannie Seely writes the songs and Infamous Stringdusters test Gravity in new CDs

GRAMMY® award-winning country music legend Jeannie Seely’s long-awaited new album Written in Song is now in select stores and available through digital retailers.
Written in Song is such an exciting project for me for many reasons,” Seely said. “It consists of 14 songs that I have written over the years, most of them recorded by my peers and my heroes. It’s also very rewarding to know that these songs have stood the test of time and are just as viable today. I am extremely grateful to the musicians and singers who made them sound brand new.”
The Grand Ole Opry songstress, known as “Miss Country Soul,” continues a whirlwind media schedule to promote the 14-track album full of original songs recorded by Merle Haggard (“Life of a Rodeo Cowboy), Dottie West (“He’s All I Need”), Ernest Tubb (“Sometimes I Do”), Willie Nelson (“Senses”) and more.
Seely brings back the traditional country sound that fans have been longing for on Written in Song. Standout tracks include “Leavin’ & Sayin’ Goodbye” featuring special guests Kenny and Tess Sears, “Senses” with guest Connie Smith and Marty Stuart and “We’re Still Hangin’ In There Ain’t We Jessi” with Jan Howard and Jessi Colter. Written in Song is distributed by Smith Music Group.
Like Jeannie Seely on Facebook or visit jeannieseely.com.
Bluegrass virtuosos The Infamous Stringdusters released Laws of Gravity, debuting at #3 on iTunes Country Chart and #1 on the Amazon Bluegrass Chart. The new album marks a return for the Grammy-nominated acoustic five-piece.
The Infamous Stringdusters — Andy Hall (dobro), Andy Falco (guitar), Chris Pandolfi (banjo), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle), and Travis Book (upright bass) recorded the album in Nashville and co-produced it with Billy Hume (Ludacris, Ying Yang Twins).
“This is the record I’ve been looking forward to making since the band started,” Hall said. “As pure of a Stringdusters sound as there is. All original, all us, recorded live for you. From bluegrass to jams, to songs relevant to the times, the music here is a true representation of what makes us tick.”
The band will take this album on the road for an extensive tour that has already begun.
“We are a band,” Pandolfi said. “We play live together, and more than any one song or achievement, this is what we do. Now we have an album that captures that.”
Learn more at www.thestringdusters.com.