Dolly Parton Steams Ahead on “Blue Smoke”


Although this is a lyric video, I can completely envision Dolly Parton singing “Blue Smoke” in concert. Surrounded by her bluegrass combo, she’s confiding to the crowd there’s no way she’s going back to the guy who cheated on her. And although she was hurt by his carelessness, she’s heading to bigger and better things on the heartbreak train called Blue Smoke.

After the second chorus, she’s at center stage, doing the “clickity clack” trick with those long fingernails before letting the band take over — but just for a few seconds. Suddenly she’s speaking right to the crowd, insisting that she’s really leaving and giving encouragement to the train to keep on chugging. And then she starts yodeling like a train whistle.

Now with the audience in the palm of her hand, it doesn’t take any effort to get them to clap along, right up to the point where she brings the arrangement back down to that unmistakable mountain soprano. Then she concludes the number with a charming giggle and a sweeping bow.

I guess I’ll have to go to one of her shows to see if I’m right. But, hey, the lyric video is worth a look, too. Check out Dolly Parton’s “Blue Smoke,” the first release from her new album of the same name, arriving in the U.S. on May 13.