Dolly Parton | Ravinia Festival | Folk & Country | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton

Christopher Dolan

When: Sun., Aug. 7, 7:30 p.m. 2016
Price: $38-$150
When she took the Proust Questionnaire for Vanity Fair back in November 2012, Dolly Parton claimed that the phrase she most overuses is “It takes a lot of money to look this cheap,” referring to her numerous plastic surgeries. I prefer her response to “What is your idea of perfect happiness?”: “A big loaded baked potato and a good book with time to eat it and read it.” It’s simple. And simplicity, for Parton, is about efficiency. She has a voice that could knock down ten pins without a bowling ball, and her deceptively rudimentary songs are remarkably potent, often using small pleasures—landscapes and bargain stores and coats—to address complex situations such as unplanned pregnancies and relationships and poverty. Though she’s never made a truly knockout album, the singles she produced between the mid-60s and early 80s are the kind that could make the Smiths jealous: witty and brief and full of tight rhythms and interlacing guitar. But the point of seeing Parton live isn’t just the songs; it’s to witness her—a big, blond American icon with a quick tongue and a generous spirit who will always be loved.
— Tal Rosenberg
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