ALBUM REVIEW: Dolly Parton “Blue Smoke”

When you see blue smoke being emitted from a car’s exhaust pipe it signals a serious problem – the car is burning up all its oil and damaging the engine.


When you hear Dolly Parton sing her latest single, “Blue Smoke, you’ll hear the anguish of a woman, her heart shattered by a man who never really loved her. Yet, while her heart (i.e., her engine) has suffered, she will heal, knowing the pollutant (i.e., the man) was left in her dust.


“Oh I know I’m gonna miss you

But I hope it ain’t for long

And I wonder if you’re even gonna notice that I’m gone

Oh it hurts to know you cheated

And it hurt to know you lied

But it hurts me even worse to know you never even tried


I packed my suitcase full of heartaches

Headin’ to the train depot

And I bought a one-way ticket

On that train they call Blue Smoke

Left the station straight-up midnight

Feelin’ lonely, lost and blue

In a trail of blue smoke with my heart broke

Said good-bye to you”



“Blue Smoke” is the title track from her forty-second studio album. The new album, to be released May 13, through a partnership between her Dolly Records and Sony Masterworks, is an eclectic mix of tunes. From the ‘smoking’ first song through last (“Try) be ready to join the country star on quite a journey.


Dolly penned “From Here to the Moon and Back (she sang it with Kris Kristofferson in the film Joyful Noise) and rerecorded it as a duet with Willie Nelson (it’s also on his album To All The Girls). “You Can’t Make Old Friends” (written by Ryan Hanna King, Don Schlitz, and Caitlyn Smith) is another duet, this one with Kenny Rogers. It was originally released last year on Kenny’s album as the title track) and the collaboration received a Grammy-nomination. The album also includes covers of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice“, “It’s All Right” and Bon Jovi’s “Lay Your Hands on Me.”


“On this CD I think there are all of the colors of my life in all the areas of music that you’ve allowed me to dabble in through the years. You will hear my old world mountain voice on songs like ‘Banks of The Ohio’ and ‘If I Had Wings’ my tender side on songs like ‘Miss You – Miss Me’ and ‘Unlikely Angel.’ My country / bluegrass side of songs like ‘Home,’ ‘Blue Smoke’ and ‘Don’t Think Twice’ and my funny tongue-in-cheek side on ‘Lover du Jour.”

Can’t wait until May to add the album to your collection? Dolly will perform new songs, along with classic hits, for an hour-long concert that will be broadcast on the QVC channel April 27. The album, her first new music since Better Day (2011), will be available for purchase on the shopping channel the same day – as part of a two CD-set (Blue Smoke and Dolly Live).

Donna Block

Donna Block

I’ve been privileged to write album reviews for Got Country Online since 2012. John Berry,John Michael Montgomery, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Alan Jackson their music caught my ear, their lyrics caught my heart. Country music is my go-to, whether my day is great or not. I love to crank up old and new tunes, kick back and enjoy!

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